We've all seen the tweets. "The Great Barrier Reef is dead!" "Humans killed a 25 million-year-old reef, I hate humans." "We're so evil, how could we do this to the Earth?" Twitter and Facebook have exploded with comments not unlike these. What people don't realize is that the reef is still alive, but in deep trouble. It is now more important than ever for people to take initiative and take steps towards saving this important reef ecosystem. Here's how you can help.
1. CARE: Don't just assume other people will help!
Don't let yourself fall victim to the bystander effect. It is up to each and every individual to save the Great Barrier Reef, along with the rest of the world's coral reefs.
2. Conserve water to reduce runoff.
You may not live nearby the ocean, but dangerous chemicals can still find their way there through lakes, rivers, and streams. By conserving water, you will reduce the risk of runoff and therefore reduce negative effects on coral reefs.
3. Dispose of trash properly.
Disposing of trash properly will decrease the risk of it reaching the ocean where it can harm marine wildlife and throw off the natural pH levels of the ocean.
4. Carpool to reduce CO2 emissions.
CO2 emissions are the leading cause of climate change's quickening rate. By carpooling, CO2 emissions are decreased, slowing the rate of global warming. Slowing global warming will effectively reduce coral bleaching (the phenomenon that currently ails more than 90% of the Great Barrier Reef).
5. Only buy appliances with the Energy Star label to reduce Global Warming's effects.
Appliances with the Energy Star label are better for the environment.
6. Reduce the use of air conditioning and heating units.
By cutting down on the use of air conditioners and heating units, you are reducing HFCs. This will slow the rate of climate change.
7. Purchase LED light bulbs to slow climate change.
LEDs use up to 80% less energy than regular light bulbs. Conserving energy is an important step in slowing climate change.
8. Support the Clean Power Plan. https://secure.nrdconline.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=di...
This is a link to tell your government to support the Clean Power plan. Supporting this plan may convince government officials to take more steps towards protecting the environment. There are also websites similar to this one that petition government officials to take action.
9. Donate. http://www.endangeredspeciesinternational.org/donations.h...
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This is a link to donate to a foundation that will put money towards saving the Great Barrier Reef. Endangered Species International is a legitimate organization that uses the donations they receive wisely. Imagine the possibilities is everyone gave just a couple dollars!
Spread the word about the Great Barrier Reef's demise. Get people to care. Make sure everyone remembers that coral reefs are still here, and they are in desperate need of our help.
11. Don't spread the idea that the reef is a hopeless case!
Above all, do not believe this is a hopeless case. Coral reefs can still be saved. Keep the hope!
The Great Barrier Reef is not dead yet. We still have time. Work on making your own contributions to save the coral reefs. It would be a shame to believe the reef is dead, realize it is still alive, and then do nothing. Do something. Make an effort to change the course of our planet. Do not let the Great Barrier Reef go without putting up a fight.