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Doing our part to help on Earth Day

Each year on the spring equinox, people from around the world celebrate Earth Day. For most surfers, Earth Day is every day. There are no planets in the solar system like Earth. Earth is truly paradise - let’s just hope we can help keep it this way. Together, with a conscious effort, we can all do our part to help keep our planet healthy for many generations to come.

Considering the huge amount of Earth’s surface that is covered with water, perhaps Earth would be more aptly named Planet Ocean. All life came from the sea and continues to depend on the sea. For planet Earth to be healthy, the ocean must be healthy. Every person on the planet, whether they live in the coastal, desert or mountainous areas, is in some way affected by the ocean.

Just as the ocean impacts each and every individual on Earth, every individual on Earth impacts the ocean in some small way. Every time a person flushes the toilet, drives a car, uses a chemical in their garden or harsh detergent on the dishes, it does not matter where they live - the resulting pollution will find its way into the ocean.

Why should someone living in Minnesota care about the health and well-being of the ocean? For starters, what happens in the ocean sooner or later will happen to Minnesota. If life in the ocean becomes extinct due to overfishing and pollution, it wouldn’t be much longer before life everywhere, including Minnesota, also became extinct.

Since the beginning of time, mankind has used the ocean for food, travel, recreation and more. Due to overpopulation, modern industrial wastes and global warming, it seems the ocean may be in trouble. The truth, however, is that the ocean is not in trouble - mankind is. Believe it. The ocean was here before us and it will be here after. Mankind may die out, but the ocean and life on Earth will go on.

No matter how polluted the mighty ocean gets, it will eventually clean itself with or without human help. The ocean does not need humans - humans need the ocean. Much of the world’s oxygen that mankind depends on comes from the ocean. The Earth’s entire climate is related to the ocean.

Now, more than ever, it is important for every man, woman and child on planet Earth to raise their ocean awareness and assume their personal responsibilities as stewards not only of the Earth, but also of the ocean.

Become an ocean trustee. Ocean trustees do their part in living a conscious lifestyle, aware of its effects, big or small. If you are interested in becoming an ocean trustee, a good place to start is here and now.

Drive less, walk more. Every time a car goes down the road, it leaves residual pollution that eventually will end up in the ocean. For short errands, a person who walks not only does his part by polluting less, but at the same time experiences the healthy benefits of walking. For long distance trips, carpools or public transportation like trains and buses help cut down ocean and Earth pollution.

The next time you wash your car in the street or do the dishes, make sure you use environmentally safe detergents. Detergents that find their way to the ocean work to destroy sea life. Environmentally safe detergents and pesticides may cost a little more, but in the long run, they will save a more expensive price later on.

Disposable packaging and fast foods are another problem. Styrofoam packages are specifically designed for one-time use and then thrown away. From manufacturing to disposal, Styrofoam containers are bad news for the ocean and earth. As much as possible, reusable bags and containers should be the preferred choice. Fast foods contribute to pollution in numerous ways. A much better option is to forego fast food meals for slow food meals.

The list goes on. Each and every one of us can do so much more with so little effort. Combined, a whole lot of people putting out a little effort can make a big, big difference and go a long way in ensuring the ocean and our planet’s health.

Like the grains of sand that form the beach, let all people join together as ocean and Earth trustees, each doing his or her part to help the whole. By helping keep the ocean healthy, we keep mankind and the planet healthy. Aloha.