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Casson Rosenblatt

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To honor Sylvia Earle's birthday, what steps will you take to lessen your impact on the ocean?

In 2009, Sylvia Earle wished for the TED community to use all the means at its disposal to help save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet. Mission Blue was created as a way to ignite support for creating hope spots, Sylvia's name for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), and help spread information about what is happening with our oceans.

There are many ways, big and small, for each of us to be a part of realizing Sylvia's wish. From eating only sustainable seafood to reducing our use of plastic to petitioning governments in favor of a ban on shark finning, each of us can contribute.

What will you do? What advice can you give others on making positive steps to protect the ocean? What do you wish large businesses and governments would do that we as individuals cannot?

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    Sep 6 2011: For her birthday, not much. It was in August anyway...

    However for International Coastal Cleanup Day, on September 17, I plan to volunteer at a local beach and bring my nieces and nephews and my dog along to rid it of garbage and document the process in pictures.

    And I urge everyone to do the same in their local area.
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    Sep 5 2011: I am calling for the global community to gear up its recycling programs so we do not have to use the ocean as a trash can since we have filled up so many landfills already we are running out of space. We have to develop products that are biodegradable, we have to stop using plastics and detergents that are harmful to marine life when they enter the water. We need tougher laws prohibiting the dumping of toxic chemicals into the ocean by prohibiting the production and use of toxic chemicals. We have to begin to live in harmony with nature or we will all suffer the consequences. We need alternative methods of distributing products other than in plastics or styrofoam.
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    Sep 1 2011: I agree with Simone. try and use alternatives to plastic as much as possible.
    On the one hand it needs oil to produce, on the other hand it ends up in places like the Great Pacific Gyre and kills sealife.
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    Aug 31 2011: Casson, thank you very much for starting this inspiring Conversation!

    The least thing one can do to protect the ocean is to not swim in it any more. This may sound strange, but think about it: if you want to go swimming, you might consider to go to a lake instead. The lake might be closer to where you live, so you will produce less CO2 with your travels, which also helps the ocean, as there might be less polluted rain.

    Eating less and only sustainable seafood is a great possibility to contribute as well. Just like meat, fish and seafood should be consumed less often... and there are always options to switch to freshwater fish.

    I think the plastic industry is trying hard to find innovative new solutions... aren't there new materials with vegetablefibers now as well?
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    Aug 30 2011: I may not live by any oceans. lakes, rivers but I do my best to help protect them. I have done my best at sharing as much as I can information on twitter and facebook with related info on what is going on with our oceans and environment. Proud to use no more plastic bags at grocery stores and use reusable ones. And since not much of a seafood person but did eat tuna, now I don't. I thought would be hard but very easy to do once you keep at it and everyone can do something to help our oceans. To quote Sylvia: " With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live." ~Sylvia Earle~