Oceans truly helps us breathe. Here’s how we can take care of it.
Covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, our oceans are one of our most valued resources, but sadly, it also where majority of our plastic waste ends up. This can affect not only marine life and sea creatures, but also the food that we eat. If left without action, this problem will persist for generations to come, increasingly expanding the Garbage Patch in the ocean, and threatening marine life. Luckily, we still have the time and opportunity to act on this alarming situation, and give our oceans the proper care it deserves. Read further to learn how you can personally contribute in caring for the ocean.
Use fewer plastic products
Plastics which end up in the ocean contribute to the destruction of sea creatures’ habitat, and pose the threat of entangling and choking marine animals. To minimize your impact, refuse plastic waste if you can; and be proactive in carrying alternatives such as cloth bags, metal utensils and straws, and reusable water bottles. Every single waste counts! For items you can no longer reuse, you can try swapping them for cash! Visit SM Supermalls’ Trash to Cash Recycling Market which happens every first Friday and Saturday of the Month from 10AM to 2PM across all SM Supermalls except SM Makati and SM Cubao. Accepted waste include: scrap paper and cardboard, plastic and PET bottles, tin and aluminum cans, metal cookware, and kitchen items.
Always clean up after yourself during visits to the beach
As our country is blessed with hundreds of beautiful, picturesque beaches, so must we be equally responsible in caring for each and every one of them. Let’s make sure we leave the beaches we visit as Instagrammable, clean, and properly in order as when we first stepped foot. Whether you’re a tourist visiting a beach, or a resident living near one, it is important to remember to leave nothing but footprints! Leave not a trace of litter, and set a good example, picking up litter and disposing them properly where you can.
Respect marine life
In other parts of the country and the world, rich marine life and interaction with marine creatures like whale sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles is a main tourist attraction. In exploring such destinations and encountering these creatures, it is best to follow the rules and guidelines. Most encounters do not allow touching the animals, and rightly so as it might pose a threat both to you and the animal. Feeding is also prohibited in most destinations, as well as flash photography. It is also of utmost importance to respect the animals’ habitat and avoid displacing or removing them from their home. While seeing them underwater may be a once in a lifetime event, the safety and well-being of the animals must be our primary concern.
Engage in water activities responsibly
Many beaches offer water activities which can be enjoyed individually or with a group. These activities include jet skiing, kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, kitesurfing, parasailing, and many more. While these activities offer enjoyment and relaxation, it’s important to keep our responsibility in check and make sure that we are not obstructing coral reefs underwater. Be mindful of the ocean floor you are stepping on, and when it comes to picking souvenirs, skip the corals and shells, which are homes to fishes and other marine life.
Participate in clean-ups
While we can do our everyday efforts in minimizing the waste that reaches our oceans, the reality is that there already lies millions of tons of garbage in our bodies of water. It was recorded that the Philippines is the world’s third-largest ocean polluter, with 2.7 millions tons generated annually. One way we can proactively help in eliminating this waste is by participating in ocean clean-ups. It is through clean-ups that members of the community gather as one for love of the environment and the ocean. Clean-ups also serve as a testimony to the things we can accomplish when united for a single goal. SM by the Bay holds a quarterly cleanup drive with the mission to help keep Manila Bay clean of trash. To participate, visit https://www.smsupermalls.com/mall-locator/sm-by-the-bay/information/