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The Ocean is Calling You

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Life + Learning

  • Turtles swimming in the ocean
  • Glasses of water, photo by Jennifer Booth
  • Reuseable grocery bag, photo by Jennifer Booth
  • Reuseable water bottle, photo by Jennifer Booth

Jennifer, Clemens Mill | April 2, 2018

Everyone loves to go on vacation, right?  Perhaps you imagine yourself snorkelling in the ocean, looking at colourful fish and graceful turtles. But, what if once you got underneath the water, instead of fish all you saw were plastic bags floating around? This is what happened to Boyan Slat when he went snorkelling as a teenager, and since that day he has made it his life’s work to rid the oceans of plastic.

Compelled to make things better for the life of the ocean, and the world, Slat, a Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, set out to create The Ocean Cleanup. He designed an ocean cleaning system made up of screens that flow along with the water, catching plastic as they travel. To learn more about this process have a look at this amazing video, Boyan Slat: How we will rid the oceans of plastic.

Even though a lot of plastic gets recycled, a great amount still ends up in landfills and waterways. There are many things that we can do to help, starting with being conscious of the amount of plastic we use. Here are a few ways to help:

  • When you grocery shop take your groceries home in a cardboard box (they have these at No Frills and Food Basics) or take your own reusable grocery bag with you.
  • Don't buy water in plastic bottles, use a filter and a refillable bottle.
  • Donate your milk bags (the large, outer bag that holds the smaller ones) to churches or community centres that use them to make sleeping mats for people in need.
  • When you order a drink, say “no straw”
  • If you must use a straw, use the glass or paper kind.
  • When you go to a restaurant, take a reusable container with you for your leftovers.
  • Don’t buy things in “clamshell” containers. And if you do, reuse them for crafts.
  • Pack litter-free lunches by sending reusable containers instead of sandwich bags.
  • Use compostable garbage bags and kitchen bags.
  • Take your own containers to the Bulk Barn instead of using bags.

If everyone tried just one of these things, imagine the difference we’d make. This Earth day, and every day after, let’s do something good for our planet.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

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