World Oceans Day / by Katie Turner

Today is one of my absolute favorite days! My deep love for the ocean started around two years ago, and since then, I have made changes in my life to protect it. In honor of today, I CHALLENGE YOU to use this day to go plastic free. On the most basic level, that means- bringing your own utensils, tupperware, and cups if you plan on eating out at a place that uses single-use kitchenware, and especially don't use straws, just sip from the edge of the cup. Don't forget to use reusable bags instead of plastic ones! Also, if you see any garbage on the ground, dispose of it properly! By doing this today, you'll see how easy it actually can be to cut out disposable plastics from your life, and how important it is to do your part. It's the little things that add up.

If you're looking for more long term commitments, stop purchasing products that use microbeads, make your own household items instead of purchasing them in plastic containers, stop purchasing plastic all together, etc! A big one that you can do is to become smarter about the seafood you eat. A GREAT resource for that is Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch website and app! As you'll hear in the video below, there are many different ways fishing has negatively impacted the ocean, and being more mindful about what you eat is a great way to helping protect the health of our oceans. There are so many things you can do to make a difference, but I've found that these are great places to start! If you'd like to talk to me more about what you can do, please shoot me a message! 

Here's my favorite quote that sums up my challenge for you all today:

Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something,
— Sylvia A. Earle

As an added bonus- below are a few more of my favorite quotes about the ocean and some photos I took in the US Virgin Islands. 

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came.
— John F. Kennedy
No water, no life. No blue, no green.
— Sylvia A. Earle
For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.
— Jacques-Yves Cousteau
It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist: the threat is rather to life itself.
— Rachel Carson
If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rain forest with respect, man will become extinct.
— Peter Benchley, Author of "Jaws"
Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.
— Sylvia A. Earle, The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
— Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
We know that when we protect our oceans we’re protecting our future.
— Bill Clinton
If I could be born anywhere in time, it would be now. It would be now because this is the time as never before. That we understand what we didn’t 50 years ago. If we wait another 50 years, opportunities we now have will be gone. This is the moment. Our decisions. Our actions will shape everything that follows.
— Sylvia A. Earle, Mission Blue