What Can You Do To Save Sea Turtles?

[Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-a-turtle-underwater-847393/

What Can You Do to Save Sea Turtles?

Each year, around 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean. If we keep going at this rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. While there are efforts being made to combat this, such as these shark bracelets that help fund wildlife conservation efforts, more needs to be done. This is not only causing our oceans and beaches to look polluted, but it’s also extremely harmful to the wildlife populations. 

One endangered species at great risk from plastic pollution in the ocean is sea turtles. At every stage of their life, sea turtles are encountering plastic that threatens their health and often takes their lives. 

Ways Plastic Affects Sea Turtles

  1. Ingestion

While more mature turtles can distinguish between food and trash, younger turtles are less aware and often end up ingesting plastic. Plastic can cause blockages in their stomachs and intestines, which end up killing them or causing serious gastric harm. Each year, over 1000 sea turtles die from ingesting plastic.

  1. They Can’t Nest Safely

Plastic on beaches is not only unsightly, it’s also confusing to sea turtles who need to nest in the sand. When they see foreign objects, they won’t nest and will instead return to the sea. Being unable to find a safe place to nest is causing turtle populations to decline. 

  1. They Get Lost

It’s a challenge for turtles to lay their eggs on beaches filled with plastic, but that’s only the beginning of their struggles. Once the hatchlings are born, they now need to navigate into the ocean. When there is a lot of plastic in their way, they become disoriented and wind up going in the wrong direction. Sadly, this often leads to their death on the beach.

  1. Stuck in Plastic

Whether they are swimming in the sea or wandering through trash on a beach trying to nest, turtles are constantly at risk of getting stuck in plastic. From bags to discarded fishing nets, there are endless forms of debris that threaten to trap a turtle or get lodged around their shell. 

How You Can Help Sea Turtles

After reading these alarming facts, we all want to do our part to help the sea turtles. Here are some ways you can get involved to help sea turtles facing a pollution crisis.

  1. Avoid Single-Use Plastic

This first tip is fairly easy to put into practice once you get the hang of it, but it does require some pre-planning. Don’t try to stop using all plastic cold turkey as you won’t be able to keep this up for long. Instead, switch up a few things at a time. It helps to go from room to room, starting in the kitchen. Take stock of everything you have that is single-use plastic and replace these things one by one with eco-friendly, reusable alternatives. For example, ziploc bags can be replaced by Beeswax wrap. 

  1. Organize a Beach Clean Up

If you live near a beach, you’re in a prime position to help out the turtles. Schedule a weekly or monthly beach clean up with your neighbors, friends, and wider community. Together, you can pick up the plastic that otherwise poses a high risk to sea turtles.

  1. Volunteer

Do some research to find great organizations that are working to help sea turtles populations. You can either find one locally or look further afield to volunteer. Typically, volunteering to help sea turtles involves monitoring local populations, doing beach cleanups and advocating on the turtles’ behalf.

  1. Participate in Conversations 

Staying involved in causes you care about means being an active part of ongoing conversations. To make sure you are always in the know, sign up for the newsletters of marine conservation organizations. Participate by spreading the word, either in person or through social media, etc.

  1. Donate

Another way of supporting marine conservation efforts is to donate. You can either donate directly, or purchase products whose proceeds either partly or fully go to saving marine life.

All Things Books, Uncategorized

Save Australian Literature

The Federal Government is proposing the removal of parallel importation restrictions (PIR). You can read more about what this is here. In a nutshell, lifting PIRs would devastate our Australian book industry as Australian authors would no longer receive full royalties (payment) on their books and Australian publishers and booksellers would be forced to compete against cheap, mass imports of books from overseas (including Australian titles).

I’ve had 11 books published with trade publishers, many that are on recommended reading lists, and still I work 25 hours a week while my husband works 40 plus to fund my writing and keep our young family fed and clothed and with a roof over our heads.

My ‘second job’ is owning a book store. As an independent bookseller it’s already difficult to compete against big chain department stores that can buy books at cheap, mass purchase discount prices. I do these jobs that barely pay the bills though because I love it, it makes me feel alive, and I feel I am contributing to society in the best way I can. If the proposed changes go ahead it will be impossible for me to continue writing and my business will fold. With book stores already struggling to survive amid rising rents, mass order discounts and online competitors, I see the end of the independent book store.

When that happens all we will see is mass produced, commercial books lacking any Australian flavour or cultural value. You won’t be able to walk into a book store and ask for a recommendation, to discuss your latest favourite read with another customer or meet and chat with authors who come in to do a signing or launch their book.

Likewise, authors will not be able to survive on already meagre incomes generated from books by receiving reduced royalties and new authors will not be able to be published at all as Australian publishers will struggle, and tightening belts means dropping less profitable titles.

I don’t want to read about America and American culture, I don’t want my kids to grow up calling me Mom instead of Mum. I want picture books that depict Australian animals, and where it is acceptable to show a baby’s bottom (unlike in the US). I want to read about our outback, to picture myself on the beaches described in the latest novel, and to learn about issues that affect us as Australians. I want the ‘u’ in colour, the double ‘l’ in travelled. I want to keep seeing our vibrant and talented Australian writing community continuing to thrive.

I want people who are passionate about story to keep writing. I want new writers to be able to spend time nurturing and developing their talents. I want to keep writing, keep reading, keep selling and keep talking about books. Because this is my passion, this is what I love, and in a democratic, free Australia we should all have the right to nurture our talents, to feed our souls, to contribute economically in the way we can best do that. Whatever happened to Australia being the ‘clever country?’ Without books we will never be that because no matter who we are, or what we do, we all learn through reading.

You can find out more and sign the petition here: