Celebrate world ocean day 2022 in Panama

World Ocean Day is June 8, but it should be every day! That being said let’s take this opportunity to start making changes that will help protect and conserve the world’s oceans.

Hi, I’m Kara, the writer of this article & owner of this website. I’m also a mom, an artist, a surfer, and an imperfect environmentalist. What does that mean? It means I’m learning, growing, and improving and sometimes I use plastic when I can’t find a sustainable alternative locally. What is vital to me, is continuing to connect, grow and find alternatives and improve the health of my family, and my community while protecting the natural world I’m trying to live in balance with. 

What I really want to share with you is this: 

It doesn’t matter if you are an avid environmentalist or just starting your journey in sustainable living by creating change in your daily habits. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! 

I also want to assure you, that while at many points throughout your journey you might feel defeated, it’s incredibly important that you keep going. Our oceans and the future of humanity depend on your perseverance. Here are a few ways you can create change in your community. 

1. Impromptu Beach or community clean.

In Panama, every community has an area where litter accumulates, because of heavy traffic, dumping, or river run-offs. In the rainy season often coastlines see increased plastic pollution because it washes into the ocean from rivers. It may feel like your efforts are minimal, but cleanups in coastal communities are a huge help. If you have the resources to create an event, you can create even more of an impact. Remember, sometimes the biggest change you can make is by sharing your dreams of a cleaner community with more people. 

2. Shop local Seafood (and Meat) from a sustainable source. 

By swapping farmed seafood shipped to Panama from across the world, try buying fish or meat from a sustainable local fishery or farmer. By doing so you can help reduce your carbon footprint and contribution to climate change. This is equally important for fruits and veg. if you buy in-season produce from your local fruit truck you can also reduce your plastic intake. 

3. Avoid Single-Use Plastics.

This has been my biggest battle in Panama. As I am sure many of you agree no matter where you are in the world. Everything is seemingly always wrapped in plastic. While there are many ways that you can help reduce ocean plastic pollution, the easiest and most impactful way is to stop using single-use plastic. Bring a water bottle, utensils, take-out container, and a cloth bag when you leave the house. You never know when might need them. 

You can also try an reduce the amount of plastic in your home. Here are a few swaps you might consider: 

- wooden hairbrush instead of a plastic one 

- A bamboo toothbrush. There are also bamboo heads for electric toothbrushes now 

- Eco floss instead of plastic flossers 

- A menstrual cup instead of pads or tampons 

- reusable cloth bag instead of a plastic reusable (which sheds micro plastics eventually) 

- reusable water bottle

- natural body/hair products that don’t come with plastic packaging 

- All-natural cleaning products *even better when there is a refill system 

- bamboo straws if you need one 

- reusable mask instead of a disposable one 

- Instead of baggies use beeswax wrap or reusable silicone pouches

- wash your synthetic clothes in a washing bag to avoid microplastic shedding

- instead of coffee pod systems use a percolator or press.

4. Repair, reuse, recycle. 

Recycling is not a perfect system in Panama or anywhere else in the world for that matter however there is definitely a culture of repairing and reusing in Panama. This is a great thing and should be an inspiration to us to use what we’ve got, repair it when it’s broken, or give it to someone who will. 

5. Keep going. 

Take time today to appreciate your progress. It can be easy to feel burnt out when your efforts are not appreciated. Keep going. And keep taking time to connect with the ocean and the natural world, by doing so we stay inspired, and inspiration is the fuel that will keep this movement rolling. 

Thanks for reading! If you would like to connect with us to collaborate on environmental initiatives in Coronado, Panama write playa@playacommunity.com