Danish writer Karen Blixen once wrote "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea." How is it that the ocean has such an effect on humanity? Why do we feel drawn to this pow-erful place? Is it the mystery of what lies beneath its surface? Or the fact that most of our bodies are made up of water? Standing at the edge of the great expanse that is the ocean, it’s hard not to be moved. This vast body of water is our sustenance, our place of origin, our essence. Without it, we would not be. For this reason, and many others, Simris is celebrating World Ocean Day – we hope you’ll join us.
Since 1992, World Ocean Day has been celebrated on June 8 to raise awareness of the many ways the ocean provides for humanity and how we can sustainably take care of it. From producing more than 50% of the oxygen we breathe to creating a wealth of employment opportunities around the world (scuba diving instructors, marine biologists, ocean engineers, to name a few), the ocean has so much to offer. We find respite in the ocean, and escape. We make biotechnological and medicinal advances based on what we learn from the ocean. To preserve this endless landscape for the future, we are now called to take action on its behalf.
Why Simris Cares
For all of the above-mentioned gifts of the ocean, we here at Simris are eternally grateful. Our own ties to the ocean actually originate in our founding story. The idea for Simris came to be through one person’s fascination for microalgae and understanding of the potential they hold. (That person was our Founder and CEO, Fredrika Gullfot, and her captivation in these tiny sea plants is what brought Simris to life.) Microalgae – whose home is the sea – have an incredible capacity for survival and have been on this planet for the last few billion years. They are the ancestors of today’s plant species, and they also happen to produce nutrients that are essential to all human beings. In fact, omega-3s can be found in virtually all cell membranes in our bodies. Talk about a miracle organism.
30x30: Not Just A Size
So what is being done to help the ocean and all life within it? There’s a lot happening, including an important movement tied to this year’s World Ocean Day celebration: the 2021 Conservation Action Focus. The idea behind this global initiative is to protect at least 30% of our blue planet – both oceans and land – by 2030. Reaching this goal of 30% protection would be a HUGE step toward ensuring a healthy ocean and climate. Just take, for instance, Cabo Pulmo off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Once an underwater wasteland, the area started to thrive with life in just 10 years once given protection. Or Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen National Marine Park which has seen a more than 30% increase in its fish population since the sanctuary was cre-ated. These small-scale examples are evidence of the 30x30 initiative’s large-scale potential.
Wondering What You Can Do?
We thought you’d never ask! There’s plenty to be done when it comes to saving the ocean, and it can feel overwhelming to say the least. We’ve narrowed it down to a few suggestions on where to start.
Conserve Your H2O Use
Surely, we’re all turning off the faucet while brushing our teeth (right? RIGHT??), but have you actually thought about how saving water helps our oceans? Every time you run a faucet or flush a toilet, the water drains into septic systems or sewers where it gets transported to sewage plants for treatment and disposal. These systems work well when things run smoothly. But when problems arise – as often happens when the systems are overloaded – it can cause hazardous materials to seep into the groundwater and make their way to local waterways and the ocean. Reducing the water used within households is a simple way to ensure our waste systems are able to keep up with demand. Just one leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day! If your water bill isn’t enough to prompt action, the state of our oceans should be.
Be A Fabric Snob
You’ve probably heard of the seas of plastic collecting in our oceans. What you may not know is that those plastic whirlpools are largely made up of tiny microplastics (which, given their size, are virtually impossible to filter out from the water). This ocean-bound plastic comes from a number of sources, one of which is the clothing we clean in our washing machines. A study done by the University of Plymouth found that a single load of laundry can release over 700,000 microfibers (which are a form of microplastic). Fabrics that contain these pervasive microfibers include polyester, nylon, fleece and spandex. What’s more, another more recent study found that wearing these types of fabric could actually release even more microfibers into the air than washing them releases into the water! The verdict? Time to hang up those lycra and check labels before investing in your next work-out gear item so we can do our laundry with clean … er, clear, microfiber-free minds.
Reduce-Reuse-Recycle (In That Order)
Proper recycling is a critical piece of the puzzle to improve the state of our world – but it shouldn’t be the first course of action. Take steps to reduce what you use first, from plastic water bottles to disposable utensils (yup, be that person who brings their own fork and knife from home). For everything you do use, see if you can’t give your possessions new life once they reach the edge of their capacity. Mend the hole in that comfy sweater; use an empty candle jar to hold your pens; buy second-hand. For all the things that cannot be salvaged, recycle when-ever possible. Reducing the overall amount of waste to dispose of means less of it is left to wind up in our oceans. This is especially true when it comes to plastic and those churning whirlpools.
And Of Course, Source Your Omegas Responsibly
When it comes to omega-3s, your body needs them to be your best self. And your best bet for sourcing them is nature’s original: microalgae. By eliminating the completely unnecessary “middle fish,” you’ll get these essential nutrients from a pure, toxin-free source and you won’t be contributing to overfishing and destruction of oceanic ecosystems. Simris has got your – and our ocean’s – back.
Support the Cause in Literally 5 Seconds
World leaders from the UN Convention on Biological Diversity are scheduled to meet in China this October to decide on what protection measures will be taken to conserve the ocean over the coming years. Let’s give those leaders a big nudge by signing the 30x30 Petition here and bring us one step closer to achieving this critical goal of 30% protection by 2030.
As we said, Simris evolved from one person’s vision – a true testament to the power of a single idea and the potential each of us has to make a difference. Every action you take, big or small, can help us reach the collective aim of ocean preservation, for ourselves and for our world. World Ocean Day is a day not only to honor the blue hues of this planet, but to do something to preserve them. And every action counts.