World Ocean Day: 10 Tips for Conserving Our Oceans

by Laura Riavitz, Marine Biologist and Lenovo Innovator
Jul 19, 2021 2:30 PM ET
Blog

The ocean deserves to be celebrated every day but on World Ocean Day, let’s take a moment to draw more awareness into the importance of conservation.

We often call our world the blue planet as over 70% of the surface is covered by the ocean. Oceans are vital to us, no matter if you live upland, urban or somewhere landlocked. Up to 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by phytoplankton and other marine plants and by 2050, it’s estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Oceans provide sustenance, livelihood, tourism, transportation, climate regulation, pharmaceutical products, and many other goods and services. The benefits are endless but so are the threats – yet only about 7% of our oceans are protected through marine protected areas.

Taking action

The ocean with all its life is the foundation of human existence, which is why we need to do our part in protecting it.

Every day, we make choices that impact the environment, both terrestrial and marine. There are many ways we can counteract and reverse negative human impact even from the very comfort of your living room.

  1. Avoid plastic pollution at its origin. Reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics. There are great alternatives like reusable water and coffee tumblers and other containers to store food.
  2. If you live along the coast, organize or join beach clean-ups. If you enjoy beach walks, bring a plastic bag with you to pick up some trash.
  3. Choose your seafood wisely or try to reduce it in your diet. Overfishing and bycatch are major concerns and take the greatest toll on marine life. Start by picking one day a week to go meatless. There are many great plant-based alternatives to choose from. The meat business is a huge contributor to climate change and leads to large-scale deforestation.
  4. Support local and global organizations focusing on ocean protection by volunteering or fundraising.
  5. Reduce water and energy use at home.
  6. Switch to public transportation or carpooling to reduce carbon and greenhouse gases.
  7. Do not buy souvenirs made of marine organisms like shells, fish, shark teeth, etc. Marine life is often killed solely for decoration.
  8. Do not collect shells or corals on the beach. Often they are reused by other marine life as homes or shelter. Shells and corals also contribute to sand production.
  9. Choose businesses with sustainable practices. This includes the restaurants and hotels you support and the brands you purchase.
  10. If you already have ideas or live a sustainable lifestyle, spread the word and let others know about it either through direct examples or social media channels. Work together and involve your community in conservation practices.

These examples are easy to follow and inexpensive. The hardest adjustment is a change in behavior; however, small changes can go a long way in conservation efforts.

Making a difference in my community

I am very passionate about sharing the knowledge I gain through my work. I want to create and spread new ideas on how we can be better citizens and do less harm to our planet. Many ideas for projects come up when I am diving, surfing or hanging out with friends at the beach. I am surrounded by creative people who inspire me through their own passions and push me in ways I never thought possible. Together, we have developed some innovative projects to increase sustainability in our community.

For example, we started an event called Sustainably Stoked where we did “market takeovers” and showed locals how plastic-free selling and shopping can be done. The small surf town I live in became so popular that balancing the pros and cons of tourism became quite challenging. Because of that, we started to encourage local establishments to switch to more sustainable choices when it comes to take outs and shopping, and encourage guests to bring their own reusable water and coffee tumblers to be less wasteful.

Together, we created the Coral Culture Club where we taught local surfers how to plant corals and protect the reef. Several members of the La Union Surf Club have been trained already in coral planting to raise greater awareness on how to manage and protect our coral reefs. Having the local community take part in our activities is the most powerful tool for environmental conservation, and it can be a positive influence for a better and greener future.

How Tech Plays a Role

I always strive for innovative applications that will support me in my field. Lately, I have been using Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga and Yoga Smart Tab with Google Assistant. I take a lot of underwater pictures and videos to document the growth of the corals in the nursery. Often, I need to upload this footage immediately, and I have already noticed an improvement in the efficiency of my work and appreciate how it enables me to work and produce content anytime, anywhere.

I work on the beach a lot so I need durable and sturdy devices. Both devices are lightweight and have long-lasting batteries, so I can enjoy working from anywhere. Whether it’s showcasing how to shop plastic-free at the local market, give marine educational lectures, plant corals, or join meetings, I need easy-to-use and responsive technology– which I have now with Lenovo.

I hope to be an example to my community and inspire more individuals to do more to protect the ocean.

Follow me on Instagram (@seariavitz) to be a part of my #LenovoInnovators journey and support my mission of helping coral reefs persist for generations to come.