Resolutions Simple Enough For a Kid

Kathryn C. Kelchner, a marine science teacher from the Chesapeake Bay, knows that lecturing isn’t the way to inspire kids to become passionate about taking care of our waters. 

So for New Year’s Resolution she took a new approach. She hung a bulletin board by the bathroom hallway, where students tend to loiter, avoiding going back to class. She posted 32 simple New Year’s resolutions for the ocean; all small things that kids and adults can do to have a positive impact on our water.

The simplicity of her New Year Ocean’s resolution bulletin board inspired us. We had to share her resolutions and we’ll be adopting as many as we can this year to ensure fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters continue to be a prime part of life in San Diego. This year I will…

  1. Make sure every single piece of trash is removed from the sea, starting by organizing local beach cleanups
  2. Reduce my use of pesticides & fertilizers – including bug spray
  3. Refuse single-use plastics
  4. Turn off car engines while waiting in lines to reduce idling time
  5. Use native plants in my landscaping
  6. Avoid plastic microbeads in body and face washes
  7. Pick up a piece of plastic litter during my day
  8. Unplug electronics like (toasters, TVs and computers) from outlets when not in use
  9. Try to use less disposable plastics (by substituting sandwich baggies for reusable containers and thermoses for water bottles) to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our ocean
  10. Use the Seafood Watch guide to inform my purchases of seafood. This will assure that I’m not encouraging overfishing of at-risk populations
  11. Become an advocate for one endangered or affected marine species and learn all about them. Then I will tell as many people as I can
  12. Learn about how ocean acidification affects turtles, sharks, right whales, walruses, polar bears, reef coral, or shell builders
  13. Enjoy and share in the life and beauty of the ocean, especially with other kids
  14. Skip the Straw! This will help reduce plastic use and keep it from ending up in the ocean
  15. Help take care of the beach
  16. Reduce my carbon footprint
  17. Be careful of marine life while on my boat
  18. Buy ocean-friendly products like jewelry not made of coral or sea turtle shell
  19. Go to the beach and take only pictures; leave only footprints
  20. Not wash my car in the street
  21. Pick up after my pets
  22. Be careful of what I wash down the drain
  23. Use natural soap and cleaning products
  24. Use cloth shopping bags
  25. Cut up monofilament fishing line, string, and rope before discarding, and NEVER let balloons drift off
  26. Prevent air pollution by not using aerosols
  27. Drive less and bike more
  28. Not flush medicines down the drain or toilet
  29. Not throw trash in waterways
  30. Not use antibacterial soap. Its most common ingredient, triclosan, is not completely removed during waste-water treatment and is toxic to marine organisms
  31. Take up SCUBA diving
  32. Not feed the seagulls off the pier

How many of these will you resolve to do in 2015?

Published in Marine Conservation

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