Mum & Grom Matching Clothing Sets for Beach Walks + Clean Ups!
8 Radical Ways Your Kid Can Practice Ocean Conservation!
I'm the mama of three pretty radical groms who love surfing, the ocean, and nature. And as unfortunate as this is, it's no joke to say that our passions are on the line!!
The seven seas aren't doing well, and no one will get to enjoy this extensive beauty and the various forms of ocean recreation when they become a garbage-ridden poison pit. With that, there's massive essentiality in instilling a sense of responsibility and respect surrounding the topic of ocean conservation within your kids.
Here's how to teach your groms to protect the ocean: simple advice and strategies the little ones can use to make big differences. Who knows, they just might change the world!
First Things First: Understanding the Importance of Ocean Conservation
Before we drop into my favorite ways that kids can implement ocean conservation within their growing lives, let's talk about why this matters. The ocean covers 70% of our mother Earth, providing habitat for a countless number of plant & animal species. These ecosystems are absolutely critical to sustaining life on land, and they are constantly at risk, under numerous threats like:
- Plastic pollution
- Climate Change
- Habitat Destruction
And more dreadful ruin. It's up to us, as humans, to negate the damage we've already done to the best of our abilities and to work towards healing our ocean and, therefore, so much of our planet as a whole.
Kids play one of the most important roles in saving the ocean, as they're the ones soon to take over the helm of this responsibility. By teaching ocean conservation at a young age, these eco-inspired groms are the greatest weapon against climate change and ocean destruction!
Their ideas and actions, both big and small, are our greatest hope in ocean protection moving forward into future generations. Plus, this awareness makes for more well-rounded adults who understand these principles well, attaining a certain level of empathy and care only discovered through the acts of 'doing good'!
Easy-Peasy Ways for Kids to Save the Ocean
So what exactly can your groms do to save the ocean? Here are simple, practical strategies you can work on teaching them as they age into their salty skin to make positive, lasting impacts on the sea.
1. Reduce Single-Use Plastics
It should terrify you to think that single-use plastics account for nearly 89% of plastic pollution in the ocean. Or that humans use 1.2 million plastic water bottles every freakin' minute. While the scientists figure out ways to remove what's already there, groms can do their part by reducing the amount of single-use plastics they use throughout their life.
To do so, encourage the little ones to:
- Use reusable water bottles.
- Bring their own eco-friendly totes and bags to the store.
- Avoid plastic straws whenever possible. They can bring their reusable straw instead!
- Opt for bamboo/other eco-friendly toothbrushes over plastic ones.
- Properly recycle the single-use plastics they must use.
- Overall avoid other single-use plastics, like plastic forks + knives, cups, containers, etc.
Oh, and the same avoidance should be applied to other toxic materials, such as styrofoam.
At the end of the day, teaching your grom to throw away less trash is key.
Ocean conservation for kids begins by trading out everyday items we toss out after a single use for those that are 100% eco-friendly and reusable!
2. Support Ocean Conservation Organizations
There's a plethora of organizations working their tails off to protect the oceans and their critical habitats. Take some time to share insight with your groms into what these organizations are, what they are doing to practice ocean conservation, and how they can get involved!
Off the top of my head, here are a few leading examples:
But with so many amazing organizations out there, I highly suggest diving deeper into the topic.
3. Supporting + Understanding Ocean-Friendly Products
Sustainable shopping is a significant aspect of saving our oceans, and trust me; your kids will begin to pick up on your shopping habits quicker than you might think.
As you shop for goods and services, do your best to lightly explain the processes behind choosing ocean-friendly ones versus those harmful to the environment.
To do so, remember these critical points to sustainable shopping, and pass this information on to their developing brains:
- Shop for sustainable clothing, as in clothing sourced from sustainable materials (hemp, coconut fibers, flax linen, etc.). Sustainability in clothing also references practices that ensure the least amount of carbon emission in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of clothing.
- Shop in bulk to avoid single-use plastics. Keep your bulk goods in reusable glass containers!
- Shop organic/local produce sourced from farms that practice sustainable farming.
- Avoid harmful chemicals, such as microbeads (microplastics), in the products you buy, both material goods and food.
- Opt for second-hand goods when possible!
- Learn how to balance the things we need versus the things we want. Basically, teach them how not to be gluttonous!
In being a sustainable shopper yourself, your kids will surely follow suit, and when it comes to ocean protection, there's never a better time to instill these principles than the present.
4. Participate in Beach Clean-ups
Beach clean-ups are a super practical and fun way for kids to get directly involved in ocean conservation efforts. Nothing beats a hands-on approach to saving the seven seas; unfortunately, there's more than enough trash on the coasts to go around.
A simple Google search of "beach clean-ups near me" should pop up plenty close to your location. But you can do your own little beach clean-ups every time you visit the sand.
Just bring a bucket + a trash picker, and set aside 30+ minutes (as long as you desire!) during your beach day to make a big difference.
5. Being Mindful of the Ocean and Its Inhabitants
The simplest approaches to teaching ocean conservation to your kids are often the best ones. We spend a ton of time at the beach, and every visit presents a new teaching opportunity.
Work on helping your kids to become mindful of ocean-positive practices by teaching them:
- Not to disturb local wildlife (don't poke the jellies!)
- Don't feed the birds or disturb their nests.
- Avoid collecting shells, as critters often hide within. Sea glass is okay!
- Don't walk on the dunes…
- Leave no trace. In fact, leave it cleaner than you found it!
All of these strategies are great at instilling respect surrounding the ocean and its habitats, so I highly suggest being a beacon of this information and passion.
Fun and Educational Ocean Conservation Activities for Kids
In addition to some of the more practical ways kids can work on conserving the ocean, I like to include some of these fun and educational activities that help foster a love and respect for the ocean because you've got to keep the stoke alive!
1. Create Ocean-Themed Art Projects!
Encourage kids to embrace their creativity and to create art projects inspired by the ocean, such as ocean-themed paintings, collages, or sculptures. I recently wrote a blog on some rather radical beach art ideas, so give it a read for next weekend's art project.
You can also learn how to recycle surfboards, and many of these eco-friendly options involve using the surfboard as the basis as an art project, so check it out!
2. Expand Knowledge with Ocean-Inspired Science Experiments:
Knowledge is power, further connecting your kid to the ocean. By fostering a greater understanding of the ocean and its inhabitants with knowledge, your kid will naturally want to become its protector.
Ocean-inspired science experiments are the perfect way to go about it. For example, they can explore the properties of saltwater, learn about ocean currents + tides, or create a mini ocean ecosystem in a jar.
Nothing Beats Ocean Time
There is no greater asset to instilling a passion for the ocean than spending time there. My favorite and best way to teach kids ocean conservation is to get involved with ocean-based activities in every way possible.
Become ultra-involved with your groms by teaching them how to surf, going for evening beach walks, enjoying picnics on the sand, or relaxing under the rays and splashing in the salt. The more the beach becomes a part of their existence, and the more they fall in love with all the ocean has to offer, the more they'll want to practice ocean conservation.
And when want turns to action, that's when the differences are made. Cheers to protecting the oceans, my salty people!
Hello to all my salty people! Thanks for readin' my blog and for the continuous support towards our brand. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter by creating your account to stay in the loop with new releases, sales & giveaways, and all our future blog post!
Live rad, stay salty.
- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.