So why Go Blue? And what does it mean to be Blue? Going Blue is a concept that was developed to include ocean-related issues in society’s efforts to become more sustainable (going green). By Going Blue, you are including issues such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, microplastics, and general ocean and beach pollution as part of your fight for a better and more sustainable way of living. Slowly over the last few years, issues such as climate change, greenhouse gases, and global warming have gained more and more attention. Now more than ever, consumers are becoming conscious of the products they buy, the services they use, and their impact on the environment. We are now extending that concern to the big blue.
With more than 70% of our world being made up by oceans and approximately 31% of the world’s coastlines being beaches, it would be ignorant of us to only consider the remaining 21% of the world as being endangered. However, the issue stems well beyond just beach cleanups and the dangers of microplastics – it also encompasses lack of education, underprivileged communities, and little-to-no awareness. A good, simple example of this is overfishing. According to Global Citizen, 15% of the world’s population receives 1/3 of its protein intake from fish. This in combination with ocean acidification (which has increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, CO2 emissions, and other human-related pollutants) means that more and more fish species are struggling to repopulate. This may seem like a small issue, however, removing or depleting multiple species in an ecosystem causes widespread chaos. Disrupting food chains, destroying ecosystem harmony, and even killing coral reefs. This lack of awareness causes catastrophic events in oceans all around the world.
As for informal communities, this is often paired with limited resources and little education. With some of the biggest challenges communities such as Khayelitsha face being; lack of basic water, sanitation, drainage, refuse collection, and more, it is not difficult to start to see why poverty and pollution have a close relationship. In a study conducted by a Master of Science Student from UCT (the University of Cape Town), it was found that “Surface water quality was the poorest in the zone dominated by the informal settlement, with highly elevated concentrations of NH3-N, PO43- and TSS, and low levels of DO”. With issues such as pollution from stray litter, chemicals and microplastics from hygiene products, and toxic runoff from poor soil or water quality, the question remains, “Is simply recycling enough?”. The answer to this is plain: No. But it is a start.
Here is where entities such as Clean C and iDiveblue have stepped in. As mentioned, many of the outreach projects that Clean C has conducted surround the topic of educating informal settlements and underprivileged communities. While we cannot all have a direct hand in this, donating to worthy causes such as these aid them in retaining and gaining new, better, and more efficient resources to fight their fight for our big blue. This is why we have decided to donate $328 (R5000) to our ocean warrior partners. The official handover will be done in January at the Saldanha Bay Beach event. But excluding the professionals, there are tons of ways for you to get involved and make a difference. And that is exactly what this campaign aims to do: educate you, your family, and your friends on ways they can easily create sustainability in their lives. But it doesn’t stop there, we will also be raising awareness on the consequences of living unsustainably and the current climate of ocean pollution. All in all, we are essentially extending the tools of social change to you, in the hope of creating a passion for sustainability that runs as deep as our big blue.