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World Oceans Day 2018

Image source: NYC Plastic Bag Report

This World Ocean’s Day, StayBlooming.com is challenging you!

Ocean health is not something that we hear about often but it definitely affects you.  With our planet being made up of 71% water, salt water makes up 97.5% of that. The quality and condition of our oceans affect marine life, coastlines, weather patterns, and more. All of which affect life as we know it so we must act. Taking care of our ocean means understanding how human behavior contributes to the biggest ocean health issue: pollution.

Here are 3 major ways you can help keep our oceans clean:

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world oceans day 3

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Get in on the action. Send pictures of how you help clean the ocean to alyssablooms@gmail.com or us #istayblooming on Instagram for a feature!

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Greening at the Local Level

We know for sure that humanity has a devastating impact on all life. Science is proving over and over how much our lifestyle/consumer choices collectively affect the planet at large. With so many countries contributing to environmental pollution, different sources of pollution and differing pollutants, the issue is a complex global one. So how are we to solve such a big issue? We have to think about it on a local scale.

I attended a City Ecological Footprint Webinar hosted by Global Footprint Network and it got me thinking about how we can be more aware of our personal daily impacts. Here are some things to first learn and consider:

  1. The earth’s biocapacity is the amount of living things it can support with current sustainability practices (agriculture, fishing, greenhouse gas emissions) and its ability to replenish itself

  2. The U.S. government always wants to to increase its gross domestic product (GDP) which is literally increasing the United States’ citizen buying power or our consumption

  3. With an ever increasing demand for GDP growth, there is an equal increased demand for resources within the environment to create products but growth does not equal sustainability

  4. Earth is already in overshoot meaning it’s beyond its biocapacity; it physically cannot sustain the current the lifestyles that developed countries have and developing countries are lacking

  5. The problem with finding an immediate solution is that national governments and international governing bodies alike work too slowly

With that being said, it’s clear why the answer lies at the local level. Change is happening quicker and more readily at the bottom. Corporations have more to lose when making green decisions. The solution is really within the changes that ordinary people can make in their everyday lives. Here are some changes you can make to be more green:

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If you’re interested in finding out more about your personal affect on the environment, you can use this Ecological Footprint Calculator from Global Footprint Network. It asks questions about your everyday life and shows which areas are causing the most damage to the earth. I hope you’ve gained something today. 🌱

Stay green, bloomers.

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10 Necessary Factors for a Sustainable Environment

1. Combating poverty is a central goal because poverty reduces access to healthcare, education, and other essential components of development.

2. Reducing resource consumption is a global consideration, but wealthy regions are responsible for most of the world’s consumption. For example, the United States and Europe have less than 15 percent of the world’s population, but these regions consume about half of the world’s metals, food, energy, and other resources.

3. Population growth leads to ever-greater resources demands, because all people need some resources. Better family planning, ensuring that all children are wanted, is a matter of justice, resource supply, and economic and social stability for states as well as for families.

4. Healthcare, especially for children and mothers, is essential for a productive life. Underdeveloped areas can lead to disease, accidents, respiratory and digestive impairments, and other conditions. Without health, economic security is a risk, and poverty can persist through generations.

5. Sustainable cities are key because over half of humanity now lives in cities. Sustainable development involves ensuring that cities are healthy places to live and that they cause minimal environmental impact.

6. Environmental policy needs to guide decision making in local and national governments, to ensure that environmental quality is protected before it gets damaged, and to set agreed-upon rules for resource use.

7. Protection of the atmosphere is essential for minimizing the rate of climate change and for reducing impacts of air pollution on people, plants, and infrastructure.

8. Combating deforestation and protection biodiversity go together because much of the world’s biodiversity is in forests. We also depend on forests for water resources, climate regulation, and resources including food, wood, medicines, and building materials. Other key zones of biodiversity include coral reefs, wetlands, and coastal areas.

9. Combating desertification and drought through better management of water resources can save farms, ecosystems, and lives. Often removal of vegetation and soil loss make drought worse, and a few bad rainfall years can convert a landscape to desertlike conditions.

10. Agriculture and rural development affect the lives of the nearly half of humanity who don’t live in cities. Improving conditions for billions of rural people, including more sustainable farming systems, soil stewardship to help stabilize yields, and access to lands, can help reduce populations in urban slums.

– Principles of Environmental Science: Inquiry & Application
Cunningham/Cunningham, 8th Edition

Click here for featured image credit.

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Seabin Project “Vacuum” Cleans the Ocean

Happy World Oceans Day! With less than 2 weeks til we enter the summer season it’s crunch time to spread awareness about the ocean and its livelihood. Earlier this week I mentioned the polluted state of the deepest part of the ocean and also introduced one woman who’s inviting people to help their local communities. Today, however, I wanted to share a commercial way to help clean any coastline called the Seabin Project.

This revolutionary floating bin (shown below) acts as a vacuum for the ocean by sucking in the surface of seawater using a pump. The litter/pollution is kept and the seawater is returned back into the ocean via its mesh innards. Sounds simple right? Thanks to the Seabin Project, it really is that simple. People often think answers to environmental issues have to be as complicated as the problems they cause but that’s not entirely true.

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The only down sides are that the Seabin requires daily maintenance and can only be placed in close quarters to docks, marinas, and typically calm waters. The good news in that is that floating trash makes its way everywhere along coastlines. With ever-changing technology, we can expect to see bigger and better coming out of this idea.

Summer 2017 will be the first season they are for sale. Please click here to visit their page, learn specific details about the Seabin, and the entire project.

Follow the cause on social media:
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World Environment Day 2017

I’m going this to use this very appropriate week to spread awareness about oceanic pollution. I say appropriate because not only is today World Environment Day but this Thursday, June 8th, is World Oceans Day. So today I’ll be sharing information on the environmental problem of oceanic pollution and over the week I’ll go over some ways we can help locally.

I’ll share a bit of personal background about myself. I have studied biology, environmental science, and environmental policy in higher educational institutions. (I struggled with changes of heart in majors like so many of us do…) But I’m not only familiar with those things because of learning about them, it’s also based on a natural passion and real love for the world. Personal indeed because I absolutely thrive when surrounded by nature and natural elements. Some of my dreams and aspirations include helping create a sustainable planet for us and future generations to come. Personal indeed but it is my passion and what feels like my life force.

Moving forward.

National Geographic published this article Deepest Place on Earth Contains ‘Extraordinary’ Pollution Levels back in February 2017. Please take a moment to read if you can, if not, I’ve tried to summarize the info so you can continue reading. When I initially read the article, I was completely devastated by my own naive thinking. How could I honestly believe that the Mariana Trench would be untouched by human impact?

For starters, the Mariana Trench is the deepest known place of the ocean. It lies in the western Pacific Ocean, closer to the continent of Asia. With it being the deepest place in the ocean, it’s easy to get caught up thinking that it’s too remote for dangerous pollution to reach. But it’s quite the contrary and National Geographic has brought to light the extremely high levels of toxic pollutants built up in this area.

It’s needless to say that the source of this pollution is the industrialization in nearby countries over extended periods of time. It’s partly due to catastrophic weather that displaces chemicals that wouldn’t otherwise be in the ocean. But also, water flow is naturally slow there and it does not help the state of the Mariana Trench. There has been scientific evidence supporting high levels of toxins in animals living in those depths. But to fully grasp how this is an issue, you must understand the inter-connectedness of the ocean. The food “chain” or “web” that humans thrive on is connected to the ecosystems of the ocean and land alike.

This is an open-ended post because this could not possibly have an immediate resolution. The only “fixing” comes in creating awareness in conversations, preventing pollution, and changing our current behaviors to always consider where human impact will end up. Stay tuned for tomorrrow’s continued talk about oceanic pollution and how one woman in Costa Rica is trying to help via social media.

Stay green my friends!