6 ways to Spring into Saving the Ocean!

The first day of spring is right around the corner, so what better way to start fresh than by implementing some easy sustainable habits into your routine! Not only will the following tips help you live a more sustainable lifestyle but it will also be helping lower you pollution impact on the ocean and its wildlife!


1. Go paperless!

Try minimizing your paper consumption by getting your receipts emailed or texted whenever possible. Instead of getting letters or statements mailed opt for online billing. If you’re a student buying/renting ebooks and take notes on a tablet or laptop will also help minimize paper use.

2. Participate in a clean up!

With earth day coming up within the next few weeks, there will be a lot of volunteer opportunities for beach, river, neighborhood, and park clean ups.You will be helping clean our environment while simultaneously meeting new people who care about mother nature just as much as you do! There are plenty of organizations across the country that promote these events and if you’re an Austinite make sure to check out our March and April events calendar coming soon.

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3. Eliminate plastic water bottles,

plastic bags, and plastic packaging!

When ever you go grocery shopping make sure to take reusable bags, there are so many different options now that there is one bound to fit your style! At the same time you are using your reusable bag to shop, stop buying plastic water bottles and get a reusable one, there are also tons of affordable options out there! Last tip when you are grocery shopping is to avoid pointless plastic packaging as seen below.

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4. Avoid Micro-beads!

Products that commonly have micro-beads include face washes, body scrubs, and toothpaste. They are a large contributor to the pollution in the ocean and harm wildlife. To avoid them look for specific ingredients like “polyethylene” and “polypropylene”.

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5. No disposable straws or utensils!

Keep in mind that only 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled. In light of this people have started buying their own metal straws and silverware that they can take with them to avoid using disposable ones. If that isn’t an option for you, try using reusable cutlery and compostable straws whenever they are made available.

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6. Exercise your right to vote!

Real change also happens as a direct result of those we elect into office. This is why we should vote for those who promote  progressive ocean and environmental policies. You should also contact your representatives with any concerns you may have in regards to these issues.


I hope you found at least a few of these tips helpful, you may already be doing these things but if not you should try picking one or two to start with and gradually begin adding more as the season progresses. Like we’ve mentioned before even the biggest of waves begin with a few ripples, what will you do to help the oceans and make a change?

Shell(Fish) Shock: How the State of Our Oceans Are Harming Us


I’m sorry to report that you, the reader, are in danger. Your life is at stake this very moment. I do have some good news however, and that is that you can change this, but it’s up to you-and only the rest of the world.

Regardless of if you’re a seafood lover or not, you’ll want to hear this. Scientists have found microplastics in 114 aquatic species, and more than half of these contaminated animals end up on our dinner plates. In addition to this, chemicals in the water affect our water supplies and alter the food chains of marine life. By putting marine life under fire with our careless disposal practices and amounts of land run-off containing pesticides, we are also hurting ourselves. Let’s break it down and take a closer look into how pollution enters the ocean, turns into microplastics, and affects our health.

The Causes

The first culprit is sewage. Sewage and other chemicals often flow directly into the ocean through drainage systems, which leads to a reduction in oxygen levels in the ocean. Marine plants and animals then suffer and die off. This is problematic for us because oceanic plants are our best friends-they create 70 percent of the air we breathe!

Secondly, industrial and agricultural waste is to blame. Industrial and agricultural waste can flow directly into the ocean as well because there are not enough regulations and mindful processes put in place to monitor the output levels of these pesticides. These chemicals and pesticides consist of mercury, phosphates, nitrates, lead, oils, asbestos, and petrochemicals.

Lastly, littering is a source of pollution, but it is not always as straightforward as someone throwing their water bottle in the sea. Every year, 5 million to 14 tons of plastic flow from in-land sources and are manipulated by atmospheric conditions, such as wind, and can be blown across land into water. Once in the water, these plastics are broken down into microplastics and are distributed across the ocean, affecting all marine life.


What Are Microplastics?

Microplastics are pieces of plastic smaller than one-fifth of an inch. Waves, heat, sunlight, and wind work together to break down all the plastic into fine pieces that many animals mistake for food. Even worse, these little pieces are incredibly hard to see, making it more likely that smaller animals we eat like shrimp and shellfish have consumed these plastics and we will have no idea. In the end, hundreds of species of birds, turtles, and marine life are harmed since their food chains are incredibly interconnected.

Microplastics in the gut of a fish

Human Health

Speaking of everything being so interconnected, how did we think we would be able to take ourselves out of the equation? It’s no wonder our own habits are coming back to bite us. The presence of all these man-made pollutants puts us at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, hormonal problems, nervous system damage, kidney damage, and reproductive problems. Whether we consume seafood or not, we drink the water that flows underground in the aquifers and rivers that connect to ocean supplies. The presence of microplastics themselves contaminate the water. And guess what? Plastic takes 400 years to degrade in water. Yes, you heard me right! That means this problem isn’t going away anytime soon, and that our children and their children will be trying to solve this problem that we made.

Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to stop enjoying your sushi. Scientists report that most of the microplastics fish consume stay in the gut of the fish and do not move to the tissue of the fish, or the part that we regularly eat. While this is a relief, it’s still important that we take actionable steps towards respectfully and responsibly disposing of our waste products and land run-off. If this is not addressed, the amount of contaminated marine life will grow, and so will the amount of people affected by the above diseases and complications. The ocean is the Earth’s bloodline, so let’s keep our planet and ourselves alive.




Welcome to the Blue Velvet Team!

Most of us agree that taking care of the Earth is important. We get all riled up when oil companies pollute the ocean and get inspired when polar bears lose their homes due to climate change. Before we know it, we’re listening to activists and whooping and hollering with our fists in the air, our voices joining a chorus of vigorous, “yeahs!” Yet, why is it that we never seem to follow through on our commitments to help the environment? We get our heart strings pulled in every which way just to think, “eh, someone else can save the planet.” Here’s the truth: no one else will. That’s the mindset that you as an agent of change have to acquire, and that’s the mentality Blue Velvet was founded on.

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