Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and people are starting to think about the great loves of their lives – but has the ocean made your list? Along with making Valentine’s Day plans here at LMC, we’ve decided to show our love for the ocean, as well as our loved ones, by doing these five things on Wednesday, and every day!
1. Remember Your Reusable Bag
While on the hunt for that perfect Valentine’s Day surprise, don’t forget to bring along your reusable shopping bag! Last year alone, LMC picked up more than 8,000 plastic bags off of Florida beaches, removing the threat they pose to marine life. If more people remember their reusable bags, they can reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment.
2. Skip the Straw
An estimated 500 million straws are thrown away every day in the US. That’s a lot of trash for an item that is used only once, and briefly. So if you’re out with your special someone this Tuesday, remember to say, “no straws please.” More information on LMC’s work to eliminate straws and other single-use plastics from local restaurants will be coming soon.
3. Choose Sustainable Seafood
If you’re heading out for Valentine’s Day dinner, and seafood is your dish of choice, be sure to order sustainably! LMC has partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program to promote sustainable seafood choices. To help you make informed decisions year-round, just stop by LMC for a Seafood Watch Consumer Guide or download Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch App and choose only seafood listed as “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative.”
4. Hold on to Heart-Shaped Balloons
While love may be in the air, Valentine’s Day balloons should not be! Please hold on tight to all of those heart-shaped balloons and other helium-filled greetings, or even find an alternative to celebrate the day. Every balloon and plastic ribbon released into the air will inevitably come back down, and many will end up in the ocean where they can entangle sea turtles and other marine animals. Deflated balloons are often mistaken for jellies, a common food source for sea turtles. In 2016, LMC launched a Balloon Ban initiative that is now implemented in five Florida counties.
5. Recycle your Valentine’s Day Cards
Most greeting cards and envelopes, including those shared on Valentine’s Day, are recyclable. So after you finish reading those sweet words from your loved ones, toss that card in the proper receptacle. You may need to remove music players, plastic embellishments, or foil lining on an envelope before they go into your household recycling bin. It’s good to keep recycling in mind when purchasing cards as well.
Wishing you a turtle-y awesome Valentine’s Day from all of us here at LMC, and thank you for sharing our love for the ocean. If you’re still looking for that special Valentine’s Day treat, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is offering admission for a special Evening Guided Tour on Feb. 13 and 14!