World Ocean Day: A Tiny Drop’s Big Message!

World Ocean Day: A Tiny Drop’s Big Message!

Hello there, I am Droppie! I am a water drop - and I belong to the vast and amazing ocean! You might have seen me on Saathi’s Instagram post about Ocean Day, if not you should definitely check it out first. But hey, now that you are here let me tell you more about me and my big family! 

We are all travel enthusiasts - we literally travel all around the world all the time! Don’t believe me? Well, as we evaporate and become clouds and travel to different places and rain down, that’s what you call the water cycle! If you go high enough on the mountains or on an airplane you might see us in cloud form - it is just us having a party with all our friends! I am sure you must have gone to a beach - do you remember those big loud waves crashing? It is me and my other million tiny friends and family creating a symphony with the sun and the moon, and that is basically tides! 

And today, June 8, is World Ocean Day! Our Day! So let us go on this journey together and let me share more about me, my family, and the big wide oceans! 

Meet My Home, the Big Blue and all our Friends 

Me and my family cover a massive part of this big, beautiful planet, about 71% of it. Unlike our distant cousins in the freshwater arena, glaciers, lakes, rivers, us in the ocean are too salty for your consumption - but we offer a lot of other things, let me tell you about them all! 

Most of you might have already met me and my other drop buddies at the beaches and shores - we all hang out there crashing in the waves, reflecting and basking in the sunlight, and welcoming you all as you come around for a dive or a swim. But that’s not all - oceans are also home to so many animals and plants! We house more than 2 million species of flora and fauna - so that doesn’t just include the world’s biggest mammal the blue whale, the squids, or the cute little seahorses; but also a plethora of marine plants and weeds and a plethora of fishes and other little critters. But guess what? 91% of our ocean animal and plant friends aren’t even classified by human scientists yet, so there are so many surprises and cute little fishes waiting to be discovered! 

But that’s not all, along with the colorful coral reefs, the happy little dolphins, the sun shining on the pretty little schools of fishes as they rattle around - we also house a plethora of minerals and resources! The oil and gas that you use to run your cars, stoves and other equipment comes from us. Along with that we also store a lot of minerals you use in your daily lives - like cobalt used to make big airplanes, along with copper, nickel, and even iron among many many others! So just like your beautiful houses and cities, we also live a happy life in the big blue ocean with our animal and plant friends. 

Help! Our Ocean Home is Getting Sick

In the last few years - we have been facing a lot of issues! Pollution, climate change, excessive fishing and mining are only some of them. Can you imagine how bad it feels? All the chemicals that run into the ocean from your factories end up making our surfaces so harsh and itchy! Sadly, many of our fishy friends have been disappearing into those big scary nets that humans throw in everyday! You can check out more about these issues in a 5 part series my friends at Saathi wrote about our home, the Ocean!

1. Our Ocean Home is Heating Up!

Imagine being in peak summer heat and your home is suddenly hot and boiling all the time! That is exactly what is happening to us: due to the increased global temperatures and global warming, the oceans absorb 23% of carbon emissions and more than 90% of the excess heat! This doesn’t only affect the waters but also our little animal and plant friends as they cannot grow well.

2. Our Reef Buddies are Getting Hurt from Mining!
While we love that we can help you with our minerals to create those cool batteries and machines you use, unfortunately lately there has been a lot of mining which is causing many of our reefs and plant buddies to uproot and die. And not just that, when these minerals are dug out, many of the metallic particles dissolve into us drops which can be toxic to us, and all of our many diverse friends (what you call biodiversity).
3. Wild Weather is Whipping Up Trouble!
Climate change also causes massive earthquakes, which you see as tsunamis. And not just that, even typhoons and cyclones have been happening far too much - it isn’t because we are angry, it is all because of the change in weather cycles and the climate - it is harming us and you at the same time.  

Yikes! Plastic Soup is NOT on Our Menu!

One of the biggest problems is plastic pollution! Earlier we could look up to the surface and see the sun’s shimmering rays on a bright day, now it just turns out to be the gleam of a plastic bottle. Did you know there's 200 million metric tons of plastic in our ocean home already? That’s as much as the weight of 13,300 blue whales combined. That's a LOT of plastic! 

1. My Ocean Home Needs a Cleanup Crew!
As we glide across the seashores and beaches, everywhere I look, there's plastic instead of sparkling waves. It's like someone spilled a giant trash can in my home! Is this how humans treat their own homes as well? Fill it with garbage? The big plastics degrade into little microplastics that then become part of us and when the water cycle happens it ends up back in your rain as well!
2. Yucky Plastic Makes Our Animal Buddies Sick!
The plastic waste doesn’t just harm us, the drops, but also our little animal friends! Little sea turtles and birds mistake glimmering plastic for food and eat it up, sadly plastic has been found in almost 100% of sea turtles and it kills them because it clogs up their digestive system.
3. Plastic Pads? Not Cool for Our Ocean or You!
Even plastic menstrual products are adding to the problem. The basic sanitary pads you get from the market are made of plastic and many harmful chemicals. Every year almost 113,000 tons of disposable plastic pads are added to landfills. Can you imagine the amount of plastic pads that are in the ocean? Those plastic pads even cause other issues like cervical cancer etc and other problems too like redness, rashes, irritability etc. 
But, don’t worry, most of these problems have a solution! We all live on this planet together! And you’re our friends in this journey. So let me share some ways you can help us with all these problems.

Droppie's Guide to Healthy Seas: 8 Simple Swaps for Happy Oceans!

I know that just like us, you are also trying to live on this planet happily with your family and friends. So all we want is a little help from you all! Then, together we can overcome all these obstacles and enjoy some calm evenings on the beachside, or a little swim or dive! Me and my friends created a little guide for you:

1. Shhh! Don't Disturb the Crabby Tenants! (They Live in Seashells!)
Do you know that the ocean is full of beautiful looking sea-shells, and it is a great part of ocean life. So psst, a secret protip for you - even the seashells that you see around the beach can be left alone, as they end up being tiny homes or shelters for little crab friends and critters. Yes, you can absolutely admire them and some broken ones are even okay to take - but please leave the intact ones behind for our little ocean buddies. 
2. Tote-ally Awesome! Cute Eco-Friendly Totes for the Win!
Since plastic is a big problem for my ocean family, why not try avoiding it? Maybe next time you visit the beach to have a picnic - carry a cute little tote bag or a picnic basket for your food? Our friends at Saathi have one that you can get, check it out here. Not only do these cloth or jute based bags help our oceans, but they’re also long lasting and in my opinion - a lot more fashionable than a flimsy plastic bag! 
3. Beach Essentials: Skip the Plastic, Pack a Picnic Basket!
Instead of using plastic disposable plastic sheets or such for lying down on the beach or umbrellas, why not opt for cloth mats and such so not only plastic is avoided but they can also last for a longer time! More reasons to come back to the beach.
  • Use of paper or steel plates rather than the plastic plates in any event or function, or during picnic near beaches.
  • Use of newspaper instead of plastics to pack small items or two instead of plastic.
  • Save small items that can be reused again like cups, plates, bottles etc. 
  • Using reusable bottles and straws for your beverages! There are a lot of metal, glass, and even bamboo options available these days.
  • Please pick up all your plastic waste like wrappers, or cups when you leave and throw them in dustbins - every small bit helps!
4. Say 'Sea Ya Never’ to Plastic! Try Eco-Friendly Pads, My Ocean Buddies Thank You!
Have you heard about my friend Saathi? You can check them out here. They make pads made of 100% biodegradable materials like bamboo and banana. It is safe to use as it has no plastic in it, which means no irritability and redness. And if pads aren’t your thing, they also have some amazing medical-grade silicone menstrual cups and they even have an awesome menstrual cup sterilizer for your next trip to visit us!  


Together We Can Make a Splash!

Teamwork makes the dream work! So while the problem seems massive, let us not lose hope - and work together to overcome all these problems. And very soon, we will have our glistening blue waters, happy little animal friends, beautiful coral, flourishing plants, and thriving marine ecosystems back again that we can all enjoy together. By taking small steps like carrying reusable bags and using eco-friendly period products, we can turn this dream into reality. We cannot wait to have you with us again, and thrive together on this beautiful planet. Happy Ocean Day!

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