And every day!

By Marisa Spyker

We talk a lot about fruity cocktails, cabana stripes, porches and patios, swinging daybeds, and all the other frills that help make living by the coast the very best way to live. But, the truth is, none of that would matter without our healthy and beautiful blue oceans—the ones that bring us unlimited joy, health, relief, calm, and some of our most treasured memories. So, in honor of Earth Day, let’s all vow to take care of our oceans and beaches the same way they take care of us. Here are five ways you can make a difference on April 22—and every day after that.

Van's Beach
Gately Williams

Clean Up Your Local Beach

One of the easiest ways to get involved in Earth Day festivities is by attending a beach cleanup. No matter which coast you live on, there’s likely an organized cleanup near you—just check your local events calendar. A few we recommend, if you’re nearby: Heal the Bay’s Nothin’ But Sand Cleanup in Santa Monica; the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Beach Cleanup in San Francisco; the Vineyard Conservations Society’s 26th annual Earth Day Cleanup in Martha’s Vineyard; and Palm Beach’s countywide Great American Cleanup. If you don't live on the coast, joining a local inland cleanup is still an excellent way to help, since all creeks and rivers flow to the coast.

Related: Meet Our 2017 Ocean Heroes: 

Shawn Heinrichs

Give to a Good Cause

While you may or may not have time to affect change at a national or international level, there are people who work full-time to conduct much-needed research, raise global awareness, and pass legislation that positively impacts our oceans—and they need our support. These 11 organizations fighting to save our oceans are a good place to start; however, if you can donate your time or money locally to impact your hometown beaches, that’s great, too.

Tom Kelley/Getty Images

Take a Plastic-Free Pledge

It isn’t really a secret that plastic is one of the biggest plagues to our oceans: It’s estimated that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh fish. (And there’s 165 million tons of plastic in there now.) Instead of adding to the never-ending heap, make a pact with yourself to eliminate plastic in one area of your life: bring reusable bags (and produce bags) to the grocery store; decline the Starbucks lid; commit to waste-free lunches; stop sucking, period. The environment (and you) will feel much better for it.

Related: 10 More Things You Can Do To Help the Oceans Right Now


Buy From Ocean-Conscious Brands

As the years go on, more and more brands are turning to recycled materials (particularly plastic) to manufacture products from yoga mats to swimsuits. The best news? It’s becoming mainstream. Even Adidas recently announced their plans to one day have all of their goods fashioned from recycled plastic that otherwise would have ended up in the ocean. Pharrell Williams is in on it, too, with his brand of eco-conscious denim made from the same ocean plastic-derived material. (Which makes us happy, to say the least.)

Courtesy of Thomas Meyer/MarAlliance

Watch an Ocean-Centric Documentary

Seventy percent of our planet is comprised of oceans, and yet, we only see a tiny sliver of it from our beach chairs. If you do anything this Earth Day, learn about the life that lies beneath the surface: the coral reefs, the fish, the sharks, the strangest of the strange that lurk in our deepest seas and that we know very little about. Keep an eye out for Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Wonders of the Sea 3D (co-hosted with Arnold Schwarzeneggar), or catch Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue or David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet on Netflix right now.