It’s National Marine Week from 12 – 18 October and this year we’re asking you to make an ocean promise.

As part of our mandate to raise awareness about the environment and encourage a sustainable lifestyle, we champion a number of causes. These are just some of the issues that we find important. Join us by making a promise and taking the first step in your journey to a greener footprint and a healthier, happier ocean (and world).

You can choose one (or, preferably all!) of these promises:

I promise to use reusable bags instead of single-use plastic

Most plastic shopping bags end up in landfill or in the sea where they are often swallowed by animals. These animals suffer a terrible and slow death, after which the plastic bag still remains in the environment. 

Rethink the bag.

I promise to drink only tap water

Urban areas in South Africa, and in particular Cape Town, currently have good quality tap water and there is no reason to buy bottled water. It can take up to 26 litres of water to produce a one litre plastic bottle and three litres of water to make one litre of bottled water. Bottled water is not only expensive to buy, but the plastic manufacturing process is resource and energy intensive.

Tap into the right water source.

I promise to say no to straws

Straws are one of the most common rubbish items found on our beaches. Much like plastic bags, straws are often swallowed by marine creatures, resulting in blockages which ultimately cause death. Refuse this luxury item next time you buy a cold drink or milkshake, you’ll be surprised by how unnecessary it is.

Straws suck!

I promise to say no to balloons

Balloons are festive and pretty, but this comes at a cost. Released balloons end up in the environment where they kill animals when they are mistaken for food and eaten. Animals are also strangled in balloon debris and die slow and unnecessary deaths. Biodegradable balloons take months, even years to degrade by which time the damage has already been done.

Bust your need for balloons.

I promise to cut all my loops

Box bands, and other loops formed by rubbish, can end up entangling land and sea animals to the point where they are slowly strangled to death. Make sure all looped refuse is cut before disposal (and recycled where possible) otherwise you are essentially throwing a noose into the environment!

Cut a loop.

I promise to bin all my butts

Cigarette butts are the most commonly found litter item in the world! These butts (filters) are made from plastic fibres and do not biodegrade. Not only do they not break down, they are full of harmful toxins like nicotine and tar. These toxins leach into the soil and groundwater and can kill animals if eaten and fish if the butts end up in water. Please dispose of cigarette butts responsibly.

Bin your butts.

What’s in it for you?

Healthy, abundant oceans which means a healthier planet which ultimately means better health for you.

And also … The chance to win a set of double tickets to the Aquarium as well as a Better Earth hamper.

How to enter?

Choose an ocean promise from the list above (or make up your own) and post it to our Facebook page, or to Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #MyOceanPromise. It will help if you @ mention or tag us in these posts so we can find your entry. (We're @2oceansaquarium on Twitter and Instagram.)

We’ll pick one winner per day from 12 to 16 October.

But there's more!

On Saturday 17 October, we are celebrating International African Penguin Awareness Day here at the Aquarium. African Penguin Awareness Day is an annual opportunity to honour the one and only (endangered) penguin species on the African continent. Declining from an estimated 1 million pairs 100 years ago to fewer than 40 000 pairs today, we are witnessing the extinction of a species in our lifetime.

Waddling penguin enthusiasts worldwide will celebrate in black and white on Saturday 17 October.

The Two Oceans Aquarium will strut their stuff, carrying “Hoot for Penguins” signs around the V&A Waterfront’s Waddle route and we invite all to come out and strengthen our numbers. We will gather from 8h00 for refreshments and begin our Waddle at 9h00. On our return to the Aquarium, by approximately 10h00, there will various attractions to keep the family entertained, including Samantha the Penguin, penguin tattoos, fun food and candy floss for sale (on paper straws, of course).

Aquarium members will be able to attend the screening of City Slickers – African Penguin Tale inside the Aquarium, with free popcorn (in a brown paper bag, of course).

If you plan on joining us, please email so we can get a sense of numbers (for catering purposes). 

The lucky thing for Capetonians is that these quirky and highly communal birds can be appreciated right on our doorstep at Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town, and also Stony Point in Betty’s Bay.

There is also a colony at the Two Oceans Aquarium for visitors to enjoy every day of the year!

Watch this space for more info about the event.

Competition rules

  • Choose an ocean promise from the list provided or create your own environmentally friendly pledge.
  • Take a picture of yourself with the pledge that you are making and name the pledge then share the picture on Twitter, to our Facebook page: Two Oceans Aquarium or Instagram using the hashtag #MyOceanPromise. 
  • Make sure you use the hashtag #MyOceanPromise and tag us (Twitter: @2OceansAquarium, Facebook: Two Oceans Aquarium, Instagram: @2OceansAquarium).
  • We will draw one winner every day on 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 October.
  • The prize is one set of double tickets to the Two Oceans Aquarium and a Better Earth hamper (containing one air freshner and one cleaning spray).
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