Sustainable living is something we’re really passionate about here at Ocean Mimic! Unfortunately there is overwhelming amounts of evidence showing the negative impact us humans are having on our planet every day. Just by going for a short walk we can see all the litter we create. Either we decide it has nothing to do with us and that we can have no impact. Or we can all decide to do our bit. Every small change can have an impact! It all starts with you.

You don’t need to sacrifice all pleasures in your life in order to improve the lives of others. You don’t need to go vegan, zero-waste and fossil fuel free overnight, or ever. Some changes may be difficult, some easy, some have a huge impact and some might be small. What is important is that we live the best life that we can. At the end of the day we need to live by our own values so we can sit down and say – I did my best and I had fun doing it.

 

Why live a sustainable life?

We live on a beautiful planet. A mass of green and blue floating in the black vastness of space. Nature has created endless examples of unbelievable beauty. The symmetry of snowflakes, the writhing of rivers, the dense mass of jungle, the unbelievable colours and patterns found in flowers and coral reefs. Life has evolved into spectacular creatures and plants – the chameleon, the tiger, the whale shark, the praying mantis, the orchid.

Nature has the ability to bring us back to the present in ways that very little else can. It makes us realise that there is something bigger than ourselves and our thoughts or fears. We are a very small piece of a very big world. Sometimes we forget, we get caught up in life and our own little dramas, but when we see a spectacular sunset or a rainbow appears out of the rain it’s a reminder. We want to protect what we love.

Stunning sunset making us take a moment to reflect. Photo credit: @benmuldersunsets

Nature:

In today’s world we have become so disconnected from nature. We want things, we want a bigger house and a faster car. We want more, we want what is easy, we want it faster and we are disconnected from how our choices impact the world.

So now (surprise surprise) our planet is suffering. The rich ecosystems which used to fill our jungles, our oceans and savannahs are diminishing. As much as 50 percent of individual animals that once shared Earth with us are already gone, as are billions of populations. The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Even if the world could halt global warming now, scientists expect that more than 90 percent of corals will die by 2050. In just 40 years an area of rainforest the size of Europe has vanished. Half the world’s rainforests have been erased in a century.

However, ultimately it is the human race which has limited time left. We have recently seen first hand the resilience of nature and its ability to quickly bounce back without the presence of humans. The Covid-19 lockdown has lead to a huge reduction in air pollution and nature making a come back, venturing into cities and towns while humans are absent

Nature will run its course. This is a human issue and what we do next will be vital.

Humans:

All of us will see and many already are seeing the huge impact of climate change, ocean plastics and deforestation on human lives. People near the coasts or on low lying islands will see the water licking a little further up the beach towards the houses. Many of us are feeling a more aggressive climate – forest fires, hurricanes and storms are on the rise.

The implications of our impact on the planet are way beyond seeing natural beauty die. It hits a lot closer to home. It is predicted that by year 2100, 2 billion people – about one-fifth of the world’s population – could become climate change refugees due to rising ocean levels. An estimated 70 percent of fish populations are fully used, overused, or in crisis as a result of overfishing and warmer waters. If the world continues at its current rate of fishing, there will be no fish left by 2050. Approximately three billion people in the world rely on fish as their primary source of protein and may face malnutrition and possibly starvation.

 

Is there hope?

Absolutely. As dire as the situation feels things are getting better. There is hope every time someone skips the straw, signs a petition, walks in a protest or turns down a plastic bag. All of the huge problems facing the world can be reduced and maybe even solved. To do so we need people to say:

1) We have a huge problem on our hands

2) It is urgent

3) I have the power to change the world for the better.

We have so much power as individuals in each of our day to day choices. Power that many of us do not recognise or take advantage of. It may be tempting to fall into the trap of feeling like your choices don’t matter. The fact is that you know it isn’t true. Every movement is made up of individuals. You have a voice that can inspire others and can campaign for change. You can make small everyday changes that will have a real impact.

Sustainable living image

 

Tips, tricks and swaps for sustainable living from the Ocean Mimic Ambassadors:

Now you’ve read about some of the reasons why sustainable living is important here are some tips to help you do your bit…

  • Shop at op-shops / charity shops – great way to find awesome unique pieces and give them another life too
  • Get creative and challenge yourself – can you use just 1 product for cleaning your body, clothes and home? Can you give that old product or item of clothing a new purpose (e.g. t-shirts into tote bags)?
  • Bring your own reusable cup, water bottle, tupperware etc.
  • Switch to solid cosmetics (shampoo, soaps, toothpaste etc.) and metal razors to avoid plastic packaging
  • Make your own products and go back to basics – grow your own fruit and veg and make your own cleaning products and cosmetics from natural / organic ingredients
  • Switch to plastic free period products – menstrual cups, reusable pads, period pants are all available
  • Find a zero waste / bulk store near you and keep any old containers to use rather than buying plastic wrapped
  • Shop local and if veganism isn’t for you try to reduce your fish and meat consumption – have a few meat and fish free days a week
  • Carry a re-usable bag – stash a few in the car in case you forget!
  • Make sure to use what you have before buying anything new (even if its a more eco-conscious product)
  • Use reef safe products, especially if you spend lots of time in the ocean
  • Don’t aim for perfection, make small changes gradually over time

 

We hope that the information and sustainable living tips we’ve shared inspire you to create a better world and a life that you are proud of!

“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” – Robert Swan

We’d love to hear about any tips you have or what you’re doing to live a more sustainable life.

 

Sources:

The Atlantic

The Independent

Cornell Cronicle

IRIN report

WWF

The Guardian

BBC

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