Lifestyle changes to introduce as we celebrate Earth Day

In commemoration of Earth Day, which is celebrated annually on April 22, Build Your Aquarium has supplied simple and easy lifestyle changes to ease our carbon footprint.

Climate change is real, and human errors including littering and dumping contribute to this catastrophe. The severity of the Kwa-Zulu Natal floods was unfortunately a result of climate change.

Nine tips to save the environment:

Stop Buying Single-Use Plastic

Using fewer single-use plastic items is one of the most significant changes that you can make to reduce ocean pollution. One way to do this is to reuse water bottles. Fill them up from the tap. However, if you do purchase water, buy gallons or larger containers instead of smaller bottles. Better yet, consider using refillable 5-gallon water dispensers.

Skip the Straw

Plastic straws are just as problematic as plastic bottles. They also pose a threat to marine animals. If you do have to use a straw, you can purchase a reusable one that’s made of stainless steel or silicone.

Be Careful When Using Chemicals on Your Lawn

Have you ever noticed that the area on the street near your home is stained orange? That’s from the iron in the fertiliser that runs off your lawn. The grass can’t soak up all of the chemicals, and the excess pollutants flow into the sewer and drainage systems.

When these chemicals build up in waterways, they cause algae blooms. Sometimes, those algae blooms make it impossible to pass through the waterways. As the algae dies off, they use up the existing oxygen in the water to decompose.

Eat Organic

If you eat organic foods, you support practices that minimise ocean pollution. Organic items are grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. Eating organic can help coral reefs thrive by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that makes its way into the oceans.

Nix the Littering Problem

Picking up after yourself is one thing. You can also help others do the same. If you go to the beach with friends, make sure that everyone carries out their trash. Bring a bag with you when you head outside so that you can collect and discard pieces of trash that you find.

Flush Appropriately

Pretty much the only thing that should go down the toilet is toilet paper. If you’re flushing anything else, you could be harming the ocean.

Don’t Flick Your Butts

If you smoke cigarettes, dispose of the butts properly. That means that you should toss them in the trash. Cigarette filters are made mostly of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic. They can take more than 10 years to decompose.

Switch to Natural Cleaners

Many household cleaners contribute to pollution. When you dispose of them improperly, such as by pouring them down the drain, you increase the risk that they’ll end up in our waterways. Even just mopping your floor with a chemical solution and rinsing it in the sink can exacerbate the ocean pollution problem

Conserve Water

Sewage treatment plants can become overwhelmed when they’re inundated with excess water. When communities use too much water at once, pollutants can make it through the processing system and end up in the oceans.

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Anelisa Sibanda

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