When you're asked to take action for the sake of conserving life in the oceans, it often sounds like a big commitment - but it doesn't have to be. For World Ocean Day, we asked a few of our ocean-loving team members to tell us one small thing that they do at home for the good of the ocean - and the answers really reveal how easily small lifestyle changes can have an oversized positive impact:
Clive Mhembere - Senior Visitor Services Assistant
You might recognise Clive from the Two Oceans Aquarium's front desk, but at home, he's also doing his best to make decisions that will help the ocean. A simple action Clive takes is to simply cut up any plastic loops before discarding them. Loops of plastic packaging, box bands, cords, fishing line... each of these items of discarded waste can easily kill marine animals, like Cape Fur Seals, that become entangled in them. But, there's an easy fix!
Deen Hill - Senior Collections Aquarist
Senior aquarist Deen Hill spends a lot of time in the ocean for work, but when he's at home, Deen knows his decisions also have an impact on the ocean. One way that Deen helps the ocean is by choosing to buy secondhand items rather than new ones when possible - a small way to reduce the environmental impact of his daily life, and a great World Ocean Day lesson!
Phumza Jongihlathi - Marketing Coordinator
The easiest way to keep plastic pollution out of the ocean is by not creating that waste in the first place. Marketing Coordinator Phumza Jongihlathi sticks to reusable shopping bags - which saves money and the ocean!
Connor Jacobs - Turtle Rehabilitation Intern
Sea turtle rehabilitation intern Connor Jacobs of the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation sees the devastating impact that tiny bits of plastic have on endangered animals firsthand and knows that a small change he can make at home can be the difference between life and death for a tiny turtle.
Kirshia Govender - Adult Courses Teacher
What goes up, must come down, and Teacher Kirshia Govender sees this first-hand when finding the remains of party balloons and ribbons littering the ocean - items that can easily kill marine life. A simple action you can incorporate into your life for World Ocean Day is simply to stop using balloons. Dozens of equally festive options, from colourful paper lanterns and chains to celebratory tree planting, exist as alternatives to harmful balloons and plastic ribbons!
Paul van Nimwegen - Curator: Operations & Animal Husbandry
When he's not handling Aquarium operations and the care of our animals, Paul van Nimwegen is taking care of his family. As a father, Paul feels that simply spending time at the beach with his kids, teaching them about the fascinating things they see, and encouraging them to clean up and protect it are great ways to instil a sense of responsibility.
Lucio de Allende - Head Chef
Head Chef Lucio knows how to cook up a feast, but whether he's cooking for his family at home or for guests hiring out one of the Aquarium's venues, he knows the importance of making sustainable food choices. When choosing seafood, Chef Lucio refers to the WWF SASSI List - a catalogue of South African seafood options that are deemed to be sustainable, meaning that the species itself is not at risk and that the methods used to catch it are not detrimental to the local biosphere.
Phelo Nyeka - Visitor Services Assistant
"It's easy, I have lips." Most people do not need a drinking straw, and giving them up is a trivially easy action that many of us could do to help remove a persistent hazard to marine life from the oceans! Visitor Services Assistant Phelo shared this small action for World Ocean Day as an example of something small that has a positive impact on the environment. Together, these small actions add up to a big difference!