How much of our planet do the oceans cover? … an incredible 2/3rds of our planet, and they hold 97% of our water. Oceans play a central role in regulating our Earth’s climate and influence global weather patterns. Billions of people rely on our oceans and coastal habitats for their livelihoods. However - our oceans are struggling. Climate change is resulting in warming seas, acidification and melting sea ice, as well as overfishing and plastic pollution. Oceans need our help!
You may have heard of the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’? … a mass of plastic rubbish – that sits between Japan and America in the North Pacific Ocean, and you have probably seen pictures of sea creatures being caught up in plastic debris. Ocean plastic is an increasing problem.
This week’s challenge is to learn more about our magnificent oceans (scroll down for some amazing projects!) … and to help your family reduce your use of plastic this week – remember your reusable water bottle, help choose the vegetables and fruit that are sold unpackaged, and have a look in the fridge – what could you buy next time without plastic packaging?
Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON and tell us when you’ve completed this challenge.
There are some fabulous entrepreneurial projects that are helping reduce our ocean plastic problem. Here are a couple … would you like to work for these companies when you’re older?
Rob Thompson – a diver from Plymouth has set up a company ‘Odyssey Innovation’ making kayaks (and fishing equipment) from recycled marine plastic – and then they use their kayaks to collect more ocean plastic!
‘Prevented Ocean Plastic’ is turning ocean plastic into food packaging – see if you can spot their logo on supermarket packaging (several of the big supermarkets are starting to support this project)!
What is Blue Carbon? Our oceans already play a really important role in helping us to combat climate change. Like plants and trees on land, seaweeds, seagrasses, mangroves and salt marshes along our coasts ‘absorb’ or ‘capture’ carbon at a much faster rate than forests on land. This carbon absorbed by plants in our oceans is referred to as Blue Carbon – watch here - What on earth is Blue Carbon?.
There are a growing number of amazing pioneering projects that are helping protect and restore these coastal habitats. You may like to learn about an exciting Seagrass project helping protect, restore and regenerate seagrass meadows around the UK. Or you could choose to delve deeper into the potential future for seaweed - as a biofuel?
When you have enjoyed learning about our magnificent oceans and come up some ideas about how you can reduce your household plastic consumption to help save our oceans – then HIT THE RED BUTTON!!