2021 will be a crucial year for our planet, with the UN COP26 climate conference in November and the G7 Summit this month. The 8th of June also marks World Ocean Day. This important international day seeks “to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilise political will and resources to address global problems.”
Why the Oceans Matter
When we think about global warming, our minds generally wander to the dangers of deforestation and the vital role that trees play in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Many people, however, overlook the importance of the ocean in combatting climate change.
The damage caused by plastic to aquatic wildlife has been widely acknowledged, and many businesses, big and small, have been taking steps to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic. But the 90-minute Netflix documentary Seaspiracy has brought ocean health to the forefront of people’s minds.
According to the UN, the ocean, which covers over 70% of the planet, “produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen” and “absorb[s] about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of the global warming.”
WWF highlights that “we need the next 10 years to be the turning point for our ocean, or we risk destroying them. We need the Government to commit this year to a 10-year strategy that will halt the devastating decline of ocean health, maximise the potential of the ocean as a climate hero and set our ocean on the path to recovery.”
What can be done?
The topic of climate change can be disheartening and anxiety-inducing. But we all still have opportunities to help our planet, starting with saving the oceans. Here are some options for you to consider for your business and employees:
- Reduce carbon footprint: reducing your carbon footprint will take the strain off the ocean absorbing carbon dioxide and help prevent the increased acidity of the water. It could be worth considering your employees’ travel, either to the office or the construction site. Would it be possible for some to continue working from home, with the availability of an office to boost morale and ensure a good work-life balance? Alternatively, you could encourage the use of public transport or establish a carpooling scheme.
- Learn about and explore the oceans: in the words of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, “people protect what they love.” Oceana, the “largest international advocacy organisation focused solely on ocean conservation”, recommends getting outside and exploring the oceans around you or, “if you don’t live near the ocean, visit[ing] your local lake or river to learn how your watershed connects to the ocean.” Alternatively, there are several online opportunities to explore and learn about oceans online. Finally, why not share your discoveries with friends, family and co-workers?
- Easy wins: make sure to invest in LED lighting, double glazing, smart thermostats, and stick to the fundamental three r’s – reduce, reuse, recycle.
- WA Management Training Courses: WA Management offers training courses to help with protecting the environment and making your business more sustainable. Take a look at our online Environmental Awareness Training and Resource Efficiency Training. These courses are ideal for making sure your business is being as environmentally-friendly as it can be, not only for the planet but to ensure compliance with standards and regulations. For this month only, you can get 10% off with the code ‘environment10’ at checkout!