How kids can help protect the oceans
It is important that we protect the oceans as much as we can for future generations! This starts with our kids learning about the deep blue and understanding why it’s so special. More than this, we can encourage our kids every day to take steps towards protecting the ocean. Check out these 7 tips about how you can teach your little ones to protect the oceans!
How to encourage children to protect the oceans
Oceans are a very important part of our earth! Like trees, oceans help humans breathe clean air and keep planet earth in balance. Oceans also provide energy and food to people around the world. Oceans are home to many living creatures, as well as many humans around the world.
It can be easier than you think to encourage your children to learn about the ocean and want to take care of it. We’ve created a list of the many ways we can encourage our children to be more mindful of the human impact on the planet and its oceans.
Use less one-time-use plastic
This may be an obvious one. However, it can be hard to avoid plastic! It is everywhere in our grocery stores! Try taking your children to your local farmers market and show them how to find non-plastic options. We can encourage our kids to use less plastic in their daily lives by being the example. When packing school lunches, try to avoid pre-packaged food that often comes wrapped in plastic. Instead, using reusable containers and paper packaging shows them how it’s possible to lower our impact on the ocean in the way we buy and prepare food.
Curious how much impact you can have by not using single-use plastics? Here you can learn more about how much damage single use plastics can cause and what is being done about it in Queensland: https://wildlife.org.au/single-use-plastic-free-queensland/
And, if you're not sure where to find reusable containers, utensils or straws, you can also find them in Wildlife Queensland's shop (and here proceeds from purchases support wildlife conservation!)
Cook in a sustainable way
The leading cause of plastics in our oceans are fishing nets. Unfortunately, many affordable products are not sourced sustainably, and cause major damage to the oceans. Try visiting your local fish and seafood market with your kids to see if you can source more sustainable options. The Environmental Defence Fund is a great tool to make informed decisions on the types of fish and seafood you can choose with lower impacts. Also, lowering our intake of fish and seafood can be a great way to lower our impact on the oceans. Instead, try introducing more beans and green veggies into your child’s diet as a replacement.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!
There are many ways we can reuse and recycle. A great option is to provide your kids with reusable water bottles. This is an easy way to reduce your plastic use and teach your kids how easy it can be to be mindful in our daily lives. For fun ways to teach your kids about the impact of plastic and other products that end up in the oceans, check out our guide to recycling with kids!
The next time you take a trip to the beach, take a look around and see if you can spot any plastic. This is an easy way to make a difference that kids can also do. Even more, take your kids to ocean clean-up days! These are a great chance for your child to see the impact that humans have on the oceans, and make them feel like they can be part of the solution. If you don’t live by an ocean, parks, neighbourhood and other nature clean-ups are also great options!
Reduce carbon footprints
Encouraging our little ones to reduce their carbon footprint is a great way to teach them about the impact that CO2 has on our oceans. As more CO2 is released into our atmosphere, the more acidic our oceans become. This means that sea creatures, coral reefs, and other underwater environments are struggling to maintain their proper balance. We can teach children about CO2 impact by using less electricity or by biking or walking instead of driving.
Let nature be!
It’s important that we teach our children to be mindful of wildlife. What if someone came into our home and started destroying all of our furniture and taking all of our food? Make sure kids know to stay on the path when out in nature, and not to feed animals unless it’s been approved by wildlife specialists. Also, it’s always a good lesson to leave things the way you found them. This means taking all your waste with you and not to touch or take home small animals or uproot plants and leaves from their homes.
Learn as much as possible
The ocean is a magical and exciting place! Teaching children about the wonders of the ocean can spark their interest in becoming a marine biologist or a tiny activist! Teaching children to care about the ocean is easy when there is so much to discover. For movie night, put on BBC’s Blue Planet or another ocean documentary that they will love.
We hope that you take inspiration from these tips! Try to impliment some of these actions into your child's daily routine and encourage them to learn more about our oceans and how to protect them.