Why the Whales Are in Danger
Due to excessive whaling worldwide, whales faced near extinction in the 19th century. Thanks to the work of environmental groups, a commercial ban made in 1986 made whaling illegal worldwide. This was a huge step forward in the fight to save the whales, but unfortunately, modern changes in legislation, climate, and lifestyles, have once again put whales in danger.
One of the biggest dangers currently facing whales is the recent repeal of anti-whaling legislation. In July 2019, Japan withdrew from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and continued their commercial whaling practices.
Outside of whaling, environmental factors like climate change and plastic pollution place an immediate threat on whales and their habitat. The good news is that there are easy solutions you can take part in in order to protect the whales!
Keep reading to learn five ways you can help save the whales.
How You Can Help Endangered Whales
Even though whales are facing a very big problem, there are little steps you can take in order to make a difference. Through conscious shopping and sustainable living, you can help save the whales!
Do Your Part to Combat Climate Change
As average temperatures continue to rise worldwide, many ocean animals face the threat of mass extinction, including whales. With rising water temperatures comes the loss of habitat and decline in food supply, forcing whales to change their migration patterns to find cooler waters.
Between growing, processing, packaging, and shipping, the food industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. In fact, up to 30% of a household’s carbon footprint can be attributed to their food. By taking steps to reduce the amount of food your household consumes, you can make a direct impact on combating climate change.
As a consumer, there are a few things you can do to help lower your food-related carbon footprint:
- Make a clear shopping list and stick to it! This can prevent you from overshopping and wasting food down the line.
- Take part in Meatless Mondays. You don’t have to commit to living a fully vegan lifestyle (although that would be great!) Instead, dedicate one night each week to cooking a meat-free meal.
- Compost your food waste. By composting your food waste at home, you’re actively reducing the amount of methane released into the atmosphere.
Shop Local + Domestic Only
One of the more common causes of death for whales are ship accidents. As international trade continues to grow, whales face higher danger of being hit by large cargo ships. It’s estimated that one-third of whale deaths are caused by these large vessel strikes.
You can help reduce the number of ship-caused whale deaths by shopping locally and domestically. Not only will this help save blue whales from oversized cargo ships, but it will also help lower the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere! It’s a win-win!
Switch to Biodegradable Products
Did you know that 10% of our world’s oil supply goes into making plastic? With plastic production on the rise, this number is bound to increase. So what does that mean for whales?
As demand for oil and petroleum products continues to rise, the quest for ocean drilling also increases, putting whales in danger. In addition to the disruption of migration patterns and destruction of habitat, the biggest threat by far is the increased potential for oil spills.
You can help decrease the demand for plastic and other petroleum by switching to biodegradable products. Here’s how we recommend making the switch:
- Keep inventory. Go through each room in your house and make a list of plastic items you currently use.
- Use what you have. Before making any switches, be sure to use what you currently have in order to reduce waste.
- Make the switch. Once it’s time to replace one of your plastic products, find an eco-friendly alternative made with biodegradable plastic.
(BONUS TIP: Next time you’re wrapping a present or preparing to ship something, be sure to use biodegradable packaging! You can find biodegradable boxes, tissue paper, and wrapping paper.)
Source Sustainable Seafood
The fishing industry puts thousands of whales in danger each year. Overfishing depletes the food supply of whales, leaving them at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Not only do whales face a lack of food, they also risk becoming entangled in discarded fishing nets, ropes, and other gear.
By carefully choosing where you purchase seafood, you can play an important role in protecting the whales. Luckily, there are several certifications and labels that can make it easy for you to identify seafood that is sustainably sourced.
Another great tool is the Seafood Watch app! Created by the Monterary Bay Aquarium, this app allows you to easily locate local businesses and restaurants that sell sustainably sourced seafood.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!
Each year, over 8 million pieces of plastic waste enter our oceans, putting whales in danger of plastic pollution. Whales, much like most marine life, mistake plastic for food and accidently ingest the pieces of waste. As a result, the plastic collects in the whale’s stomach, unable to be digested. This can lead to dangerous obstructions that result in the whale becoming sick and starving to death.
You can help endangered whales by committing to the age-old saying, “Reduce, reuse, and recycle!” Although it might seem straightforward, here are some ways you put this into action:
Little Things Can Add up to Big Change
While issues like climate change and whale endangerment are big problems, your small actions have the potential to add up to big change! Whether it’s making the switch from single-use plastic or purchasing upcycled clothing, every action you take to save the whales makes a difference.
Socktopus Ink is committed to taking actions both big and small to protect whales and our oceans. Through the upcycling of plastic products, we’re able to keep plastic pollution out of our oceans and out of the stomach’s of these beautiful creatures. Every sock you purchase keeps one plastic bottle out of our oceans. Imagine how quickly that one small action could add up to a big difference! Do your part and help save the whales today!