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Paid PostPosted on May 31, 2018

9 Things You Didn't Realize You Could Do To Stop Marine Pollution

You can be the solution to the pollution. Learn more about how you can get involved in the movement with adidas and Parley.

There's no doubt about it: The health of our ocean is at an all-time low. Global ocean pollution is growing at an exponential rate, with approximately 1.4 billion pounds of trash entering the ocean each year!

So where does all this trash come from? Well, over 80% of pollutants come from land-based activities; that includes natural processes and human activities along the coastlines and far inland, which all affect the condition of our ocean.

There's no better time than now to take some action on this growing issue. So here are the small things you can do to make a great impact on the future health of our ocean.

1. Make the simple switch to reusable products.

The accumulation of plastic debris in our oceans is ubiquitous, and the effects of this are fatal to the habitat. Floating plastic can be a cause of death for marine animals: Whales, dolphins, and turtles can get entangled in plastic materials and even mistake it for food. Studies show the cumulative amount of plastic waste that could enter the ocean from land is predicted to increase by a considerable amount by 2025. To limit your impact, carry a reusable water bottle, bring a cloth tote to the grocery store, ditch the plastic drinking straws, and recycle, recycle, RECYCLE.

2. Eat more sustainable seafood.

You might not realize this, but 90% of the world's fisheries are on the verge of collapse. Catching fish faster than they can reproduce and our own consumption habits are just a couple of factors contributing to a decline in wild fish populations, which creates issues for the ocean's ecosystem. So when you're shopping or dining out, help reduce the demand for overexploited species by asking the simple question: "Do you serve sustainable seafood?" You can also find printable resources to help keep you informed on the go.

3. Do what you can to reduce your carbon footprint.

Ask yourself: Do I need to take the car out to run that quick errand? Or could you bike, walk, or even use public transportation? The amount of carbon dioxide we're emitting on a regular basis is on the rise, and a quarter of it is absorbed by the ocean. This leads to chemical reactions in the ocean, a process called ocean acidification. Many parts of the ocean are becoming undersaturated by vital minerals as a result. This affects the ability of some organisms to reproduce, thus creating a decline in species like oysters and clams.

4. Go green and replace petroleum for plant-based motor oil.

Petroleum-based motor oil often ends up in coastal areas due to gas-guzzling vehicles and rainstorms that wash it into lakes and streams. Upwards of 40% of oil pollution in the US is caused by used motor oil. Replacing petroleum-based oil with a renewable alternative would be the equivalent of taking 7.5 million cars off the road!

5. Dispose of hazardous materials carefully and safely.

Disposing of used motor oil and other hazardous materials, such as batteries, at designated drop-offs or recycling locations can prevent toxic leaks from trickling into our ocean. It is also preferable to wash your car at a commercial car wash instead of in your own driveway because, by law, car washes must treat their wastewater before disposing of it.

6. Take care of your lawn with less fertilizer.

When applied in excess, nitrogen-based fertilizers can run off from farms and lawns, which ends up causing big problems for coastal areas. Due to recent climate change, resulting in more rain, excessive nutrients are running into rivers, lakes, and oceans — aka eutrophication. This can result in harmful algae blooms and reduced levels of oxygen that create unlivable conditions for the ocean's organisms. So, to keep your grass green, use fertilizer sparingly and remember: Less is more.

7. Pick up after yourself when you're near coastal waters.

This may be an obvious one, but whether you're a total beach bum or just visit the shore once in a while, make sure you're cleaning up after yourself! The majority of marine debris has its beginnings as beach litter. By throwing out trash in the appropriate receptacles, bringing a trash bag with you, or even going a little further and volunteering in beach cleanups, you can reduce the negative effects on the ocean.

8. Purchase ocean-friendly products.

Avoid products produced through environmentally harmful methods. Make sure you pay careful attention to the ingredients found in common cosmetics to ensure they don't contain substances like shark liver oil, for instance. Also known as shark squalene, this oily compound is favored for its moisturizing properties. Instead, opt for plant-based products that offer the same amount of moisture, because, as you can imagine, unsustainable products are directly linked to destructive fishing methods.

9. Be the one who influences change in your community.

You might not realize this, but you have the power to inspire change among others. Do your due diligence by researching the ocean policies of public officials before you vote or contact your local representatives to let them know you support marine conservation projects. Speak up about your concerns if you spot a threatened species on a restaurant menu or at a seafood counter. And take part in initiatives that fight for the cause.

All images from iStock.

Feeling inspired to take action? adidas and Parley have joined forces to take on the problem of marine plastic pollution. You too can join the fight and make strides for a cleaner, healthier ocean by signing up for their Run for the Oceans event. Every kilometer ran = $1 donated to the Parley School for the Ocean.