Guest contribution from Chloe Kirby at Wildlife Connections
We are in the midst of an ecological crisis that affects not just us, but many species of plants and animals around the world. Scientists are considering that we might be in the middle of a sixth mass extinction, in which we may lose up to 500 species in the next twenty years. One of the animals at grave risk are sea turtles, as they are long-lived and slow breeding.
There are many reasons we need to save the sea turtles. First off, sea turtles are gentle and beautiful creatures that deserve better. Sea turtles are also an integral part of the ecosystem in the ocean. They protect coral reefs and the growth of seabeds and keeping jellyfish populations in check.
No matter where you are in the world, you can help protect sea turtles with your words and actions. One action you can take is purchasing products from companies that will benefit conservation efforts, such as the ocean ring.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Everything you do in your life can directly or indirectly affect the environment. From the clothes you wear to the places you go, you can either make a positive or a negative impact on the planet. Your carbon footprint is a measure of all the greenhouse gas emissions you are responsible for in your lifetime. This number is much higher than most of us would like. By reducing this, you not only make a change for yourself, but also will help protect endangered species like the sea turtles. Here are just a few simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint today.
- Use alternative methods of transportation to driving, like riding a bike, walking, or taking public transportation
- Conserve water by taking a short shower rather than a bath and using an eco-wash setting on your dishwasher and washing machine
- Turn off electricity when not in use and switch out lightbulbs to energy-efficient versions
- Shop locally and shop less
- Try composting
- Buy secondhand or vintage
- Take fewer trips that involve flying
Avoid Single-Use Plastics
It is predicted that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Turtles have a particularly hard time with plastic as they can both ingest it and get tangled in it. It’s estimated that 1,000 turtles die per year from getting entangled in plastic on the beach, something that can be completely avoided if we were to take better care of our beaches and stop throwing away so much plastic. Plastic pollution often keeps female turtles from laying their eggs on beaches because they can’t find a safe place to nest, so they give up altogether.
To help save the sea turtles you can cut out single use plastic like plastic grocery bags, water bottles, and straws.
Clean up the Beaches
If you live near a beach, it’s not hard to pick up trash every time you walk along the sand. You can also amplify your efforts by gathering together a group of friends to do a big beach clean up once a week or month. Don’t leave anything behind when you go to the beach, including chairs or towels. And be sure to knock down any sandcastles when you leave. The turtles need the beach to be completely clean and clear of obstacles so that they don’t get disoriented.
Volunteer for Turtle Conservation Projects
If you have a passion for the ocean and want hands-on experience with saving sea turtles, then volunteering with a conservation organization is a great way to help out. There are some incredible marine conservation organizations, like Kaya whose tireless efforts bring change for sea turtles. Here are some of the projects you can volunteer for with Kaya.
- Turtle and Marine Environmental Conservation and Education in Ecuador: During turtle nesting season, which runs from October to February, you can volunteer to monitor turtle nests in Ecuador and relocate them when necessary.
- Turtle Conservation in Sri Lanka: Help protect the five local species of turtles in Sri Lanka with this incredible volunteer program. The Hawksbill, Green, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley and Leatherback are all under constant threat from tourists, locals, the fishing industry, and export demands.
- Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica: In this program, you’ll volunteer to protect sea turtles from poachers and predators in Costa Rica. You’ll work with a local team to monitor nesting sites, collect eggs, and conduct research and data on the turtles.
Speak Up and Give Back
We understand that not everyone has the time to volunteer, but that shouldn’t stop you from being a part of the global conversation. Stay informed about sea turtles, join in conversations when you hear them, and vote in favor of conversation efforts and climate change policies. When possible, donate to organizations fighting for causes you believe in, like the sea turtle conservation.
Hope you found this blog interesting. To hear more about the projects that we offer please connect with one of our advisors using the chat now button, or feel free to request a brochure using the button opposite.