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5 Things You Can Do To Help Save the Turtles | BeCause Tees

5 Things You Can Do To Help Save the Turtles

Turtles are a broad and fascinating group of animals, of which there are over 350 different species. These reptiles are found on every continent except Antarctica and can be loosely divided into land or sea varieties. While many species are vulnerable in some way, sea turtles are particularly at risk because of the many threats to our planet’s oceans. Luckily, there are actions you can take to help save the turtles.

Save the Turtles Through Education

To understand the specific actions you can take to help protect sea turtles, it’s a great idea to learn more about these unique creatures and the threats they face.

There are seven main species of sea turtles: hawksbill turtle, green turtle, Kemp’s ridley turtle, olive ridley turtle, flatback turtle, leatherback turtle, and loggerhead turtle. They range in size from about 9 to over 60 inches long and weigh anywhere from 75 to 1,500 pounds. Each species has its own individual traits, but all share our oceans.

The threats facing sea turtles are almost as varied as the different species. Some of the most significant include:

  • Poaching. There is high demand in some parts of the world for turtle meat, eggs, and shells. This alone is enough to make anyone want to save the turtles!
  • Bycatch. Sea turtles are often victims of “bycatch,” meaning they are unintentionally caught with other types of sea life caught for consumption as seafood.
  • Habitat destruction. Turtle habitats are continually being threatened by human development. Most sea turtles nest at night to shield themselves from predators, but light pollution and other factors can disrupt these habits.
  • Global warming. Climate change has a detrimental effect on sea turtles’ development and reproductive potential. Sea turtles lay their eggs in large holes dug on sandy beaches. The sex of baby sea turtles is influenced by the temperature of their environment while gestating. Consequently, higher sand temperatures are resulting in an abnormally high ratio of female sea turtle hatchlings, throwing off reproductive patterns.
  • Pollution. Various types of environmental pollution are harmful to sea turtles, but perhaps most significant is the presence of plastics in the ocean. It's not uncommon for sea turtles to ingest items such as plastic bags when they mistake them for algae or jellyfish.

How You Can Save the Turtles

With all of these dangers, you might feel powerless to help sea turtles. It is true that making a difference requires a lot of effort and widespread change. However, when we each commit to small, individual efforts, it starts adding up to bigger, more meaningful change.

1. Spread the Word

Educating others is one of the most important ways you can help save the turtles. Share what you know with friends, family, and anyone else who will listen! Spread the word about the vulnerability of sea turtles and the threats they face. Share tips about how you’ve made changes in your own life to make a difference. Social media is a great way to spread this kind of information and encourage others to pass it along.

2. Shop Responsibly

Choosing where to put your money and where not to is a powerful way to enact change. Ensure you are buying responsibly caught seafood, and write to companies to let them know why you won't purchase their product (it’s usually easy to find a “contact us” button on a company’s website). Additionally, some companies commit to donating portions of their proceeds to different environmental causes.

Another place to be watchful with your dollar is when buying souvenirs. Turtle shells are common items in some tourist areas. Ask vendors about the origin of their products, and don’t make any purchases if you’re unconvinced. Chances are there will be many other types of turtle-safe products available for purchase as mementos instead.

3. Reduce Plastic Consumption

One way you can save the turtles is by reducing your consumption of single-use plastic items. Luckily, more consumers are becoming concerned about plastic waste, so more companies are trying to cater to that concern.

There are many ways you can reduce plastic waste, from bringing your own reusable totes to the grocery store to replacing single-use plastic sandwich bags with washable, reusable ones. It’s still hard to escape single-use plastic, but you can help by recycling whenever possible. Many grocery stores are also beginning to offer “drop-offs” for plastic bags, which are often not accepted alongside traditional recycling products.

4. Engage Your Government

A powerful tool you can use to save the turtles and other vulnerable species is your vote and your voice as a constituent. It’s OK if you’re not a fan of politics; your vote can still make a difference! Vote or even campaign for candidates who stand for environmental protection and get behind legislation to affect needed changes. You can also write or call in to your local representative's office to voice your concerns about the environment. Encourage others to do the same.

5. Live Green

Since climate change is harmful for sea turtles and other wildlife, simply making more sustainable changes to your everyday life is one way to help sea turtles. In addition to reducing plastic consumption, you can get into other green habits. This can include being mindful of how much electricity and tap water you use; carpooling, riding a bike, or investing in an electric vehicle; and buying organic groceries and “free and clear” household products. Simply picking up litter can also help.

You Can Help Save the Turtles!

These tips are great ways to help protect sea turtles, but there’s even more you can do. You can volunteer with wildlife organizations or make financial donations to them. Another idea is eco-tourism, which is a great way to see amazing creatures for yourself while supporting organizations that protect them, in a way that is safe for both the humans and the turtles.

BeCause Tees is an apparel company that you can support to help save the turtles. Our beautiful wildlife prints are available on a variety of high-quality shirts and accessories. For every purchase, we will plant 10 trees as well.

Sources:

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-seven-species-of-sea-turtles-living-in-the-oceans-of-our-planet.html

https://www.worldatlas.com/news/climate-change-is-turning-sea-turtles-female-in-australia-cooler-turtles-are-a-solution.html

https://becausetees.com/pages/mission

https://becausetees.com/collections/shop

https://conserveturtles.org/get-involved-simple-actions-you-can-take/

https://www.seeturtles.org/save-the-turtles

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/feature-story/what-can-you-do-save-sea-turtles

https://friendofthesea.org/marine-conservation-projects-and-awareness/save-the-turtles/

https://a-z-animals.com/animals/turtles/

https://a-z-animals.com/animals/sea-turtle/

https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/infographic-sea-turtles

https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/what-do-sea-turtles-eat-unfortunately-plastic-bags

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-seven-species-of-sea-turtles-living-in-the-oceans-of-our-planet.html

https://www.worldatlas.com/news/climate-change-is-turning-sea-turtles-female-in-australia-cooler-turtles-are-a-solution.html

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