4 Ways You May be Unconsciously Harming the Ocean

4 Ways You May be Unconsciously Harming the Ocean


Thoughtlessly buying seafood


- Risks

Fishes, and seafood as a whole are not an unlimited resource. And buying seafood without regard could boost the demand for it, which in turn could lead to overfishing.

World fisheries could be ruined by 2048.

Studies say that unsustainable practices in commercial fishing and the collapse of reef systems could result to the ruin of all the world’s fisheries by 2048.

- Solutions

Do something about it by: Become a vegetarian or be more discerning in your seafood purchases. You can use different apps and downloadable guides to know which kinds of fish are sustainable to consume and opt to purchase these from your local market. Also, you can buy only what you and your family can eat to minimize wastage.

Ordering take-out food

- Risks

Recently, we have seen cities and even establishments become more concerned about the commercial use of non-reusable packaging and wrappers such as plastic bags and styrofoam containers.

Those plastic bags and styrofoam containers are threatening marine life.

Nevertheless, plastic remains to be one of the bigger threats to marine life and ocean health. Plastic bags, bottles, and styrofoam almost always end up in the ocean, and aside from taking a number of years to decompose, can also release toxic chemicals that can endanger marine life.

- Solutions

Do something about it by: Order from restaurants that use biodegradable or recyclable food containers, or if you are picking up your food you can request them not to package your take out food, so you can use your own containers.

Wearing sunscreen incorrectly

- Risks

Yes, sunscreen is good for our health, but using it incorrectly could in turn hurt the ocean. Most sunscreens recommend putting it on an hour or more before swimming, as it will just get washed off if you swim immediately after slathering it on.

Sunscreen may cause coral bleaching and kill young corals.

Studies have found that benzophenone-2 – a common chemical used in sunscreens could cause coral bleaching and also kill young corals.


Do something about it by: Opting to use organic sunscreens or reef-friendly products, and ensuring that you correctly apply your sunscreen – by applying a golf-ball sized amount an hour or two before swimming. You can also opt to use an umbrella, hat, rashguard, or sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Shopping a lot


Shopping a lot or over-consumption has adverse effects to the ocean, and even the environment as a whole. One, careless consumption could generate a whole load of trash, especially if we value quantity over quality. And two, over-consumption also contributes to the recent boost in the shipping industry. Container ships ply the oceans to transport raw materials to manufacturing plants, and finished products to the hands of the consumers. The more stuff we buy and consume, the more stuff are shipped across oceans.

These container ships and carrier vessels then make loud sounds or acoustic smog – which makes it harder for marine animals such as whales to communicate with one another. This in turn could result to higher stress levels for the whales, and could impact their feeding and mating opportunities. Ultimately, this can result to an overall decrease in marine life population.


Do something about it by: One, being more careful in our shopping and consumption, such as putting more importance in quality over quantity. Two, shopping at organizations that produce products that are not only good for the environment and social happiness, but find ways to improve it. You can opt to support companies who are continuously improving their business practices, such as those who practice creative upcycling or those who support environment-friendly and sustainable groups and practices. Yes, there is nothing wrong with shopping and we definitely need to shop for the things we need, we just need to figure out a way to do it responsibly. In this way, we use the power shopping to influence companies to conduct their businesses in an environment-friendly and sustainable way.

Small actions can make a difference

This is just another proof that we are all connected, that even our smallest actions have a big impact on the Earth and the living things in it. So in the same sense that small actions can hurt the ocean, small actions can also save and protect it. So the challenge for all of us remains: what can you do to help the ocean?