We're constantly being reminded of the environmental devastation taking place around us, on the news, social media, and in regular day-to-day conversation. With so many things going wrong all at once and on such a monumental scale, it often feels like we are powerless to make any meaningful impact - so why even bother trying?

Pledge #1 of the 28 Day Challenge is about putting those reservations aside and trying, regardless of what you think the impact of your actions will be.

What can I do?

Whatever your lifestyle is like, it costs nothing to try to minimise your impact - so, Pledge #1 of the 28 Day Challenge asks you to make a best effort to follow along and do whatever is in your capacity to make a difference.

Just remember - it costs nothing to scrutinise your product choices, and think about ways your lifestyle can be optimised. After all, many of these items end up not only being better for the environment, but for your health and for your wallet too!

So whether you only commit to a small change, or whether you feel able to leap into a sustainable lifestyle with both feet, we only ask one thing - spend the next 28 days trying your best and starting somewhere!

Make your pledge a permanent commitment by leaving an Ocean Pledge.

Musician Ben Harper made his Ocean Pledge to "Try and do better." And on Day #1 of the challenge, that's what we're asking you all to try too!

Why does it matter?

Earth has a carrying capacity - an upper limit to the number of people that can be supported at a particular lifestyle. The ideal is that every person can lead a good life, without transgressing the boundaries of the systems we share with nature. Already, countries with a higher standard of living (South Africa included) place the highest burden on our planet. By scaling back our impact, we have the chance not only to protect nature, but to free up resources to allow poorer societies to develop and have the chance to reach the same turning point we are at.

By making small, sustainable decisions every day in our personal lives, we buy time for society to develop the technology, systems and laws to become more sustainable in areas that we can’t influence as individuals. You are literally creating a future at home!

Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung [CC BY 2.0]

Myth-busting: It’s too difficult to make a difference

When you do think about saving the ocean, climate and nature, do you ever have doubts?

  • It’s just going to be too much effort
  • Making sustainable choices is probably going to cost too much 
  • One person can’t make a difference
  • I’m too old to change

Well, you may be encouraged to know that saving our ocean is quite simple really: 

  • It only takes small changes and habits
  • Being sustainable often saves money!
  • Lots of "one persons" have already had a negative impact, so the reverse is also true 
  • You don’t have to be perfect to make a difference 

The golden rule is "just start somewhere". Anywhere!

Who can I follow?

As motivation for the journey ahead, we would like to leave you with an inspirational message from Jane Goodall who shows us the importance of living in harmony with each other and with our planet:

Take the 28 Day Challenge! Make your Ocean Pledge!

This post is part of the #28DayOceanPledgeChallenge! You can find the other 27 posts and challenges on the Two Oceans Aquarium website, or by signing up for the Challenge newsletter below to receive one challenge a day for 28 days: