At WHOI, we believe that integrating sustainable practices and resource conservation in research, education, and operations can reduce human impact on the environment. Here are 3 ways you can be more sustainable on this Earth Day, brought to you by WHOI’s Sustainability Coordinator Stephanie Madsen.
Avoid fertilizers and use alternatives
When fertilizers are tossed on lawns and gardens, they mix with rainwater and move downhill to drains, rivers, ponds, and even the ocean sometimes. This can cause surface algae to grow which hurts the ecosystem and impacts all the life in it. Instead, find natural alternatives like mulched grass clippings, seaweed, or organic compost. A super green lawn isn’t good for the blue!
Change up your personal care habits
Small microbead plastics in your face wash and plastic shampoo and soap containers can break down over time into microplastics that move and mix into land and water. To be green and support the blue, switch to bars of soap for your face, shampoo, and dishwashing. Local farmer’s markets and small businesses often sell these products.
Rampant carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere and ocean where it causes problems for the Earth’s climate and ecosystems. When too much CO2 in the atmosphere mixes into the ocean water it can alter the chemistry and create osteoporosis of the sea weakening shells and exoskeletons of sea animals. Going solar generates carbon dioxide-free energy, sustains our blue, and is more affordable now with incentives and rising gas prices.
Small changes like this can go a long way in supporting ocean health. While you’re here on the sustainability site, have a look around at our initiatives and ways we are working for the good of our ocean, our planet, and our future.