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.”
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 »
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 »
It’s been a busy year so far, and we’re only finishing the first full week of 2013. To start off the new year, here are the top five tweets that attracted the most attention in the Twittersphere over the last week:
1. Trapped killer whales freed by shifting ice
BREAKING: Multiple reports say the 12 killer whales trapped in sea ice in Quebec have been freed by shifting ice: ocean.ly/UPKPtR
A group of killer whales surrounded by ice off the coast of Canada were deemed to have a grim future, but an unexpected shift in wind current moved the ice in a way that allowed them to escape. This surprise happy ending garnered the most attention of our ocean followers this week. This tweet also took away the most favorites.
What does citrus have to do with the ocean (besides keeping sailors scurvy-free)? Today, Grist’s “Ask Umbra” blog discussed how clementines, a fruit many people enjoy during the wintertime, could be harming ocean wildlife — that is, if you’re not careful about the packaging.
A reader asked whether the mesh netting used to hold these citrus treats can be harmful to sea creatures in the long run. I was invited to weigh in:
So is mesh the menace you imagine it to be? Well, yes. “Like all forms of plastic debris in the environment, plastic mesh bags can pose harm to marine and terrestrial animals,” says Nicholas Mallos, a conservation biologist and marine debris specialist with Ocean Conservancy. The extent of the mesh threat is unknown, Mallos says, but this graphic from the organization’s annual International Coastal Cleanup gives a good sense of how our wasteful lifestyles affect our aquatic friends.
…Let us turn to our trusty three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. First, try to avoid buying products packaged in excess plastic. Mallos points out that reusable produce bags are a handy alternative, though that will be tricky with your diminutive citrus situation, since mandarins are almost always sold pre-packaged in the U.S. Some municipalities accept these bags for recycling, so be sure to check with yours. You can also reuse the material in all sorts of ways: for household scrubbers, sachets, or placemats and coasters! Finger puppet tutus! Here are even more ideas!