As you may know, beloved Bob the green turtle is on track to be released back into the ocean after eight years of rehabilitation - recovering from severe injury as a result of accidentally eating plastic pollution. This means that we will no longer be able to protect him from the human-made hazards in the ocean, which still has the same dangers Bob faced in the past - so, it is up to all of us to make a difference. We need to protect Bob's home.
Sea turtles, like Bob, face countless hazards every day because of actions we humans take on land. By making better choices about our habits at home, we can help protect these endangered species from preventable risk - like plastic pollution.
As a society, we are constantly reminded that our ocean and marine life are under threat. We see conservation campaigns on social media and television, and we often hold conversations regarding our ocean and their future. Most people sense the magnitude of the problem that we face but often feel overwhelmed and powerless to make a difference. “What difference can one person make?” – is often the question.
Well, it’s time that those reservations be put aside, and realise that any changes we make, whether big or small, still contribute to saving our ocean!
How can I start?
It starts with the decisions you make in your daily life. Remember – it doesn’t cost a cent to consider our product choices and a small lifestyle decision that can help keep our ocean clean.
Whether you decide to start recycling or to eat more sustainable foods, your efforts will not only benefit the environment, but they will often also benefit your health and wallet too!
The tide of plastic pollution entering the ocean might seem too big for you to make a difference - but every little piece began with a small decision that a person like you makes. Lots of little changes add up to a big one. Credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung [CC BY 2.0]
Why is this commitment important?
Although plastic is often made to be used just once in the form of packaging or convenience items, it can last thousands of years in our oceans. Plastic that finds its way into the ocean has been known to kill animals by means of suffocation, strangulation, entanglement, or starvation. Once this happens and the victim decomposes, the plastic is then released back into the oceans, outlasting the victim by quite some margin (and drifting free to cause further damage).
Pieces of plastic like these often find their way into the oceans and cause injury and death among marine life. This plastic was all in the stomach of Bob the turtle when he was rescued.
The commitment made by individuals to take action, no matter how big or small the action may be, is the first step to protecting Bob’s home. The severe threats that the ocean and its wildlife are facing today, are human-caused, and it should therefore be our responsibility to correct our errors. The path to keeping our ocean clean starts with the commitment to act!
Bob is on the brink of release back into the borderless wilds of the open ocean after eight years of difficult rehabilitation. As we are preparing to release him, we realise we won't be able to protect him anymore. The reality is simple: The ocean is not safe for turtles. Together we can change that. Bob will be facing many of the same human-caused threats that resulted in his stranding in the first place, and which are the cause of harm to the overwhelming majority of distressed sea turtles.
In order to create an ocean that is safe for Bob and all other creatures that call it home, we must continuously take small actions towards protecting it - these small actions compound into big change. This is #TheFlipperEffect!
If you're looking for a good place to kick your journey off, consider taking the 28-Day Challenge with Ocean Pledge and the Two Oceans Aquarium to do more to protect Bob's home!