Celebrate our Amazing Planet with World Oceans Day
Earth Day might be the oldest environmental holiday, but saving the planet takes more than one day per year. That’s why environmental activists have devised so many other collective actions to remind Homo sapiens to take care of our habitat. In our Celebrate our Amazing Planet series, your kids will learn about the challenges affecting our environment and how they can be part of the solution.
Oceans, which make up almost 70% of the planet’s surface, are the unique environmental factor responsible for most of life on earth. They provide oxygen, regulate the climate, provide medicinal substances, and create the pleasant soundtrack for some of life’s best naps. So why not spend a day celebrating them?
World Oceans Day, celebrated on June 8, is a day to clean up the beach and learn how to create a safer place for oceans to thrive. Since an Earth Summit in 1992, the Ocean Project has partnered with aquariums and zoos around the world to sponsor the international event, which was recognized as an official holiday by the United Nations in 2008.
One of the major challenges to oceans, beaches, and underwater ecosystems is plastic waste pollution, which you can find just about anywhere. Keeping the ocean safe for sea creatures by getting rid of this human-made waste is one of the most important things we can do to keep the planet safe and our oceans thriving.
Want to celebrate the ocean? Head to the beach, silly! If you live near the beach, finding a coastal clean-up site near you should be a breeze. If not, simply organize one! Resources for creating your campaign and planning your clean-up event are available at the World Oceans Day website.
Kids will love the “Wave for Change” promotional materials for the event, too. They can create a video of them doing the wave, crashing through waves, making waves or riding waves to share on social media to promote World Oceans Day. Get the creative juices flowing and spread the love for the ocean!
Even if you don’t live near an ocean, beach, or body of water, there’s still plenty you can do. Plan a trip to the nearest aquarium to learn about life in the ocean. Challenge your kids to pick a favorite ocean-dweller to adopt as their sea animal. Learning about the animal’s habitat and risks to it will personalize the ocean, even if it’s far away.
Some aquariums have overnight sleepover events on World Oceans Day. If yours doesn’t, ask to organize it!
Ocean-themed scavenger hunts and art contests are great for school kids who can’t make it to the ocean and don’t live near an aquarium. If you can’t see the sea immediately, the next best thing is to encounter it in your imagination.
Got a social media-savvy teen? Take a “Selfie for the Sea” to share on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. This can help kids start a conversation with their friends or write a paragraph about why preserving the ocean is important, and how they plan to do it.
Commit to reducing your use of plastic. Since it’s plastic materials that end up polluting the ocean, one way we can stop that pollution is to stop using plastic. Get a few cloth bags to carry with you and stop picking up plastic bags when you go shopping. Kids can take a water bottle to school every day with their favorite beverage instead of using single-serve juice or soda bottles.
Have your kids create a petition at school to stop local stores from giving out plastic bags or to lobby beverage makers to stop using plastic bottles.
After the Fact
Have you got a bright young leader on your hands? Encourage your child to join the Youth Advisory Council, made up of oceanic enthusiasts from all around the world. They help determine the themes and activities for World Oceans Day, along with an advisory committee of adults.
If your child is really interested in the oceans, this is a great way to stay involved long after the annual celebration has passed.
Keep the wave going by making your kids vigilant about plastic use and continuing to participate in ocean clean-ups all year long.
Older kids who live near an ocean might want to take up scuba diving to get more familiar with what’s out there underneath the deep blue sea. For younger kids, repeated viewings of Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid will answer most of those questions!
The Long Term
World Oceans Day is a time to celebrate the living water around us and to remember the challenges our environment is facing. Celebrating the magical pull of the ocean waves and the endless blue that makes our planet unique is an overwhelming and exciting prospect.
Making sure those same irresistible qualities remain for generations after us is the ongoing project – and responsibility – that World Oceans Day represents.
Will you and the kids be participating in World Oceans Day this year? What activities do you have planned? Share your ideas with us!Tags : celebrations celebrate our amazing planet green holidays environment nature world oceans day