Coral Bleaching

I've recently watched the documentary 'Chasing Coral' about the state of the ocean due to global warming. It's now on netflix and it's definitely worth a watch!

Basically, global warming is causing the oceans to heat up, therefore causing bleaching (death of corals) in oceans all over the world. While the white coral can look beautiful, it is actually the skeleton of the dead coral, soon to be covered in algae. 

We all have a role to play in global warming, and here is National Geographic's list to reduce your impact.

  1. Make sure your lighting is efficient. LED light bulbs generally use up to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescents, and they last longer. 

  2. Replace old appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, water heaters, and clothes dryers, with smarter models.

  3. Use cold water for washing clothes, then line-dry them.

  4. Recycle. The EPA estimates that recycling glass, aluminum, plastic, and paper could save 582 pounds of CO2 per year, equivalent to more than 600 miles of driving.

  5. Consider getting solar panels for your home or buying renewable energy credits.

  6. Save on gas with an electric, hybrid, or super fuel-efficient car.

  7. Maximize fuel efficiency, no matter what model you drive: Keep tires inflated, avoid speeding, keep your trunk free of excess weight—and above all, avoid driving when you can walk, bike, carpool, or take public transit.

  8. Reduce your flight travel where you can, and remember that, unfortunately for your personal comfort, first- and business-class seats have a higher carbon footprint than economy ones. (You can find the most efficient airlines ranked here.)

  9. Purists don’t love the idea, but buying carbon offsets—essentially, paying into projects that help compensate for the carbon you plan to emit—is another option. The environmental group NRDC offers a guide.

  10. Buy less meat, and opt for sustainable sources when it comes to what you do purchase. By one estimate, consuming a pound of beef gives off more carbon than burning a gallon of gasoline.

  11. Bring your own bags and buy in bulk when possible to reduce packaging.

  12. Reduce your consumption of bottled water and other packaged drinks. In general, driving up demand for plastic means doing the same for fossil fuels. Consider the global impact of acquiring more stuff. One study found that a big share of China’s pollution was associated with goods manufactured for export to the U.S. and elsewhere.

You can find more ideas for reducing your energy use, and therefore your carbon footprint, here.

Vaquita - critically endangered

Do you know what a Vaquita is? did you know there is less than 30 of these gorgeous little porpoises left in the wild?

how incredibly sad is it that these incredible creatures are facing extinction due to humans. while fishermen illegally hunt the endangered totoaba bass in the gulf of mexico for a chinese soup, the vaquita is often bycatch - getting caught in the gillnets and drowning.

Sea shepherd has a couple of boats patrolling for illegal fishing activities in the gulf, and if you want to help keep them there feel free to donate here: sea shepherd 

Seabirds vs. Plastic

its seabirds vs. plastic in our oceans, and plastic is winning. it is estimated that 90% of seabirds have plastic pollution in their stomachs. 
"A report by scientists studying the stomach content of Laysan Albatross chicks on Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean revealed disturbing results: Forty percent of Laysan Albatross chicks die before fledging. Necropsies of the chick's stomachs found them filled with plastic trash." 

the albatross for example eats by skimming its beak along the surface of the water, because plastic is floating there these birds are accidentally consuming very large amounts of plastic. 

check out this article by national geographic - it's honestly heartbreaking. 

So what can we do?

  • the less plastic that we use, the better. and for the plastics that you can't avoid, make sure that they are recycled properly. 

  • take part in beach clean ups, or bring a bag when you go for a walk and pick up trash along the way - you'd be surprised how much is there when you are actually looking for it. 

  • avoid single use plastics like water and soft drink bottles, straws, grocery bags and takeaway coffee cups - bring your own!

  • tell your friends and family about the effects of marine debris

  • don't release balloons.

check out Chris Jordan's albatross photos here .