A Focus On Nature

Now for Nature

Eco-Warriors: Ways to Help the Ocean

A few ideas to get you started – whether you do them all or one, you are adding to the thousands of others that are making contributions to help our oceans.

  1. Recycle and reduce
  • Pick fruit and veg that come unpacked instead of wrapped in plastic – this works well with bananas, apples and onions. Other fruit and veg are less easy – especially leaves such as spinach
  • Choose glass jars over plastic ones – coconut oil comes in both!
  • Take your own containers to the meat counter
  • Use the local butcher instead of buying meat that comes in polystyrene/plastic
  • Buy clothes from charity shops or pick jumpers and t-shirts from your favourite environmental charity which often have a wide range such as Marine Conservation Society, Bite Back, Shark Trust and the RSPB
  • There are now recycling points/websites to send many products to, meaning they no longer need to reach landfill. Products you can send are pens, batteries, electronics, plastics, glass, DVDs, CDs, and even where clothes are ruined give these to specific places they are used to make new garments – so it doesn’t matter how worn they are

1.b Use reusable/biodegradable plastics instead of disposable ones. There are many options in this category, which will often not only help our environment but will save you money and save businesses and therefore the economy money also. This is not an extensive list – let us know your additions!

  • Carry a reusable bag for your shopping
  • Always use reusable bottles for water or juice – imagine saving £1 a day on a bottle of water
  • Buy reusable straws that you can take around the bars/fast food places instead of using disposable ones – you even get a wee cleaning brush with most orders!
  • Reusable razors
  • Don’t use cotton buds – buy ear wax cleaner that will last for years
  • Use stripless wax – meaning the strips do not need to go into landfill
  • Use a menstrual cup instead of tampons/sanitary towels
  • Reusable batteries
  • Carry a fork or spoon around for lunch on the go
  • Use shampoo bars – which often last as long as 3 bottles of shampoo, and use natural conditioners such as coconut oil
  • Use bars of soap rather than bottles of shower gel
  • Facial wipes can be environmentally-friendly if biodegradable
  • Reusable nappies have been proven to be better for the baby’s health, reducing inflictions such as nappy rash. Choosing this method can also save a lot of money!
  • Use bamboo alternatives – products made from bamboo include cotton buds, toothbrushes, cooking utensils and even keyboards!!
  • Let establishments know that using disposable plastic is no longer necessary or acceptable – many companies have already noticed this and are making the change – others will follow when they realise that their customers are not happy. If you are unsure of how to communicate with these establishments or do not have the time to start a petition of your own, there are already plenty of petitions out there for you to support. Here are a few to get you started:




  1. Know where your food originates – weather you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or meat-eating we can always make decisions based on our eating habits that will help our environment.
  • When choosing meat products, try to pick alternatives to beef, like wild venison steaks and pork sausages
  • Pick meat that is produced in Britain; people will often be surprised how reasonably-priced their local butcher is – this supports local economy, British farmers and if you take a reusable tub reduces plastic usage
  • Widen your choice of fish: selecting fish other than cod or haddock will reduce the pressure on these stocks and will make use of the countless of other fish species caught in British waters. Always check the good fish guide provided by the Marine Conservation Society – they have an app that will highlight which species of fish are sustainable from which markets
  • Pick vegetable, soya and rapeseed oil produced in the UK where possible
  • Pick selections that are more environmentally friendly – mushrooms grown in the UK instead of Spain, bananas that are not in a plastic wrapping – when enough consumers boycott these products the business will have to listen. The only reason these products are on the shelves is because people buy them in mass
  • Be vegetarian/vegan once a week, or even month. Explore the plenty of tasty alternatives
  • Vegan margarine is often the same price as normal and very tasty. Select dark chocolate, try coconut milk hot chocolate, put Quorn in chilli and curry’s, try alpro ice cream. You do not need to give up the things you like – adding variation and being open minded to the increase in vegetarian/vegan products can help
  • Only buy the food you need – the amount of food wasted and therefore money is shocking

And last but not least!! –

  1. Use environmentally-friendly products – all water makes its way to the ocean and many products have detrimental ingredients that cause harm to ocean inhabitants. Many of the products are as cheap as normal ones.
  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing detergent
  • Cleaning products
  • Sun cream – some sun creams have been shown to cause coral bleaching – using natural products will help the strain on our reefs
  • DO NOT put medicines down the sink – these have huge effects on aquatic organisms affecting their physiology. The bin is preferable – but these will also dissolve in rain and make way into waterways – please take to local pharmacies where they will dispose of all medications

Rosslyn Watret is a graduate in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology. Follow her on Instagram @sharkie_love.

If you’d like to read further on the subject of plastic pollution, and how it affects our oceans, check out these articles by Rosslyn: