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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Five Tips for a Low-Trash Super Bowl Tailgate

Posted On February 2, 2013 by

Fans at a football game

Image adapted from mattradickal flickr stream

Heading to a tailgate for Super Bowl XLVII? Here are a few quick tips to reduce your trash impact and keep our planet healthy while cheering on your team.

Make your own food: Opt for delicious homemade salsa, grilled meats and salads over store-bought or take out options. You’ll eat (a little) healthier, be able to buy in bulk and can use your own reusable containers to bring everything in.

Cloth beats paper: If cloth were an option in rock, paper, scissors, it would totally beat all three. Bring cloth napkins and towels for clean up and you’ll not only eliminate fly-away possibilities, but you’ll also greatly reduce the trash produced. Make them from cloth in your team’s colors and show some extra team spirit to boot!

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Green Your Groceries

Posted On February 1, 2013 by

So you already bring your reusable grocery bags every time you go shopping. Did you know that there are more opportunities to cut back on plastic consumption at the grocery store – without giving up any of your favorite products?

Fresh fruit, vegetables, and bulk items, like nuts and grains, are often stocked alongside single-use plastic bag dispensers. While most shoppers instinctively tear away bag after bag as they move down the aisles, many grocery stores give you the option to use your own bags and jars. When you do, you reduce the number of plastic bags entering the waste stream – and you’re making a difference for the ocean.

How It Works: Tare weight

Your re-usable jars and bags are heavier than single-use plastic bags, and it’s easy to account for this weight. Before you shop, talk to the customer service staff at your grocery store about finding the “tare weight” of your jars and bags – that’s simply how much they weigh when they’re empty.

Mark the tare weight of your jars and bags on a tag or sticker, and then go shop! When you weigh your purchases for pricing, subtract the tare weight from the total. The difference is the weight of your goods, and you’re ready for check-out.

Bulk Bins: Nuts, Grains, Dried Fruit, Beans, and more

Bring your own jars or bags to the bulk bins. You can reduce your use of plastic bags and bottles by scooping everything from oatmeal to peanut butter straight into your jars. Bonus: they look nice in your kitchen cupboard, too!

Produce: Fruit and Vegetables

Use mesh produce bags to carry your fruit and vegetables. They’re re-usable and compact, and they’ll help you cut back on the number of plastic bags you bring home from the grocery.

Saving the Ocean, One Tip at a Time

Posted On January 31, 2013 by

Credit: Hash Milhan via Flickr

Even though we won’t know if winter will last another six weeks until Punxsutawney Phil makes headway on Saturday, I’m sure that some of you are hungry for starting up a few DIY projects at home as the weather slowly turns the corner to the long-awaited Springtime. Since we’ve all heard our fair share of stories about when DIY goes wrong, we here at Ocean Conservancy figured providing a few tips on the subject could prove helpful. With ocean health in mind, we published a recent blog post, “Re-Energize Your Home to Save Money, Energy and the Ocean.”

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Re-Energize Your Home to Save Money, Energy and the Ocean

Posted On January 28, 2013 by

CFL lightbulb

Photo: derekGavey via Flickr

Whether you live on the beach or many miles from it, you can bring the ocean home by taking small steps to reduce your impact around the house. These tips to save energy, reduce waste and cut water usage will help keep the ocean healthy and may even save you money.

Here are four ways to re-energize your home:

  1. Use CFLs. When your old incandescent lightbulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent lamps (or CFLs), which use less power and last longer. These bulbs will also save you money over the long term by reducing your electricity bills. And don’t forget to recycle your old lightbulbs so they don’t end up in a landfill—or in the ocean.
  2. Slow the flow. Showers account for about 17 percent of in-home water usage. Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to keep water pressure up while cutting usage up to 70 percent and saving you money on your water bill.
  3. Use it, then defuse it. Did you know that some electronics continue to sap energy even when they’re not in use? Electronics like computers, printers, DVD players and even your microwave are common culprits—consuming power even in standby mode. You can save energy by unplugging these electronics when you’re done with them or when you’ll be away for an extended period of time. Installing a power strip is a great way to switch off multiple appliances at once.
  4. Tap it. Plastic beverage bottles are among the top three items found during beach cleanups around the world. You can help reduce that number by filling a reusable bottle instead. Use a filter to purify your tap water and save money in the process.

This Week’s Top Tweets: January 19 – 25

Posted On January 26, 2013 by

It’s time to recap the Ocean Conservancy tweets that made the most waves (get it?) in the past week. Check out our top five and let us know which one piqued your interest the most!

1. Would You Like Some Fish with Your Plastic?

This was our top tweet of the week and it’s no wonder why–finding out that over one third of a given sample of fish have plastic in their bellies is downright creepy. This study by Plymouth University and the UK Marine Biological Association illustrates the tangible effects that trash has on our ocean. If you’re looking for ways to lessen your impact and to keep the ocean healthy, try downloading our mobile app, Rippl. You’ll get weekly ocean-friendly tips and be able to track your progress!

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Five Things You Didn’t Know You Could Donate

Posted On January 21, 2013 by

While over 65% of households donate to charities every year, setting aside extra money for your favorite nonprofit can be overwhelming when you are in a financial rough-patch. Still looking to pay it forward in the new year despite being a little strapped for cash donations? Choosing to donate old clothes and appliances to charities like Goodwill or the Salvation Army is another avenue that many can turn to as a helpful alternative in such a situation.

Wouldn’t it be great, though, if you could put the more random items that have been sitting around your home to better use? Well, look no further. Today I want to share a list of five things you probably have stashed away in a junk drawer or in the depths of your closet which can be donated to some great causes: Continue reading »

How to Keep the Ocean Healthy While Working Toward a Healthier You

Posted On January 14, 2013 by

a runner at the beach

Credit: puuikibeach via Flickr

Looking for some extra motivation to keep that resolution to go to the gym? How about saving the planet? It’s easy to incorporate small changes into your workout routine that will actually benefit our ocean’s health.

Here are four ways you can help keep the ocean healthy while working toward a healthier you:  Continue reading »