The ocean covers more than 70% of the surface of our planet and makes up about 97% of all water on Earth. Something so important deserves a day of celebration, right? “But what can I do?” you might be wondering. Read on to find 7 ways that you can celebrate World Oceans Day no matter where you are in the world!

What is World Oceans Day?

Before we get started, what and when is World Oceans Day? Each year, World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8th to raise awareness about the importance of the ocean and the role it plays in our lives. The ocean is a vital part of the ecosystem and is home to millions of species. However, due to human activities, the ocean is facing a lot of challenges such as plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. 

It might feel daunting to try to make a difference on the largest body of water in the world, but we changemakers at YOUTHTOPIA know that if everyone just does their part, the whole world will become better. Here are 7 ways that you can honor the ocean:

  1. Reduce your plastic use.

Plastic pollution is a major threat to the ocean. By reducing your plastic use, you can help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the ocean. Start by carrying a reusable water bottle, using a reusable grocery bag, and saying no to single-use plastic straws and utensils.

If you want to take it a step further, encourage others to stop using plastic, like YOUTHTOPIA founders, Melati and Isabel Wijsen did with Bye Bye Plastic Bags. It can be as small as bringing reusable mugs to coffee shops or by lobbying your government to ban plastic bags. There are several organizations you can volunteer with, such as: Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Plastic Pollution Coalition, End Plastic Waste, The Ocean Cleanup, and Trash Hero, to name a few. See if there are any local chapters or create your own! 

  1. Participate or host a beach cleanup or event. 

Organize or join a beach cleanup in your community. We had our Bali’s Biggest Cleanup in February of this year, but who says that it can’t happen more often? If there’s not an event already scheduled, create your own and invite your friends to join in. The more people, the more fun and the more trash you can prevent from entering the ocean. Even if you’re not living anywhere near the coast, organizing a local cleanup is still helpful. When trash gets into rivers, it will likely eventually end up in the ocean, so starting the cleanup process further upstream is just as helpful! Here’s a toolkit by World Oceans Day to start your own coastal or inland cleanup. 

There are lots of other events happening around the world, so join one or use this toolkit to create your own and share it on the World Oceans Day platform.

  1. Learn about marine conservation. 

Educate yourself about the issues facing the ocean, such as overfishing, climate change, and habitat destruction. By understanding the challenges, you can be better equipped to take action.

There are many international organizations that are dedicated to protecting the ocean, such as Oceana, The Ocean Foundation, and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. See what organizations there are locally and consider donating or volunteering your time to help support their efforts.

  1. Support ocean-friendly businesses. 

Look for businesses that are committed to reducing their environmental impact, such as those that use sustainable seafood, use mostly recycled materials or have implemented eco-friendly practices in their operations. Be careful though, many companies claim to be “sustainable” nowadays. That’s why it’s essential to do your research. What are their metrics? Are they actually doing what they claim? Where are they sourcing their materials? For example, here in Bali, one of our partner organizations, Indosole, prevents old tires from ending up in landfills or the ocean by turning them into shoes. Now that’s an ocean-friendly business!

Another tip is to use eco-friendly products, such as biodegradable cleaning products and reef-safe sunscreen. These products are free of  “forever chemicals” and other toxins that are harmful to marine life. 

  1.  Eat less seafood.

Overfishing is a major threat to the ocean's biodiversity. While you can opt for “sustainable seafood”, it is still unclear what that actually means and there is little regulation in place to enforce these practices. That’s why it’s best to limit your fish consumption whenever possible, you can help reduce the impact of fishing on the ocean's ecosystems. 

  1. Recreate responsibly.

If you enjoy boating, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, fishing or doing any water activity, make sure you follow responsible ocean practices. For example, limit motor boating through sensitive marine areas such as mangroves, don’t touch coral or marine life and (obviously!) don’t litter or dump waste in the ocean. Here’s a great resource from Leave No Trace, which focuses on limiting your impact on coastal recreational areas.

  1.  Spread the word.

Share your knowledge about the ocean and its importance with your network. Encourage them to take action to protect the ocean and its ecosystems. Here’s a great list of resources from World Ocean Day to help you organize your own event or create social media posts. 

See, there are many things you can do for World Oceans Day! You’re probably already doing many of these in your daily life, such as reducing your carbon footprint, but why not go above and beyond to help protect the ocean on World Oceans Day? Sure, it might not feel like you’re doing a lot, but as Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, said, “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” So be brave, be patient, and get out there, changemakers. We all know that the world and the ocean needs you!