Seas the Day in October: Save energy, save the ocean

Did you know October in the US is National Energy Action Month? Though it may seem far off, thinking about your World Oceans Day celebration now will allow plenty of time to brainstorm creative event ideas. Why not tie in a message about energy conservation?

There are lots of ways we can impact energy conservation in our everyday lives and communities. Generating electricity creates more pollution than any other industry, dumping tons of dirty carbon into the atmosphere. The ocean helpfully absorbs this carbon as part of its role regulating our climate - with the unfortunate side effect of wreaking havoc on ocean life and causing the ocean to become more acidic. By saving energy we can save the seas.

Ocean acidification prevents animals from creating strong shells, and degrades existing structures like corals. Photo credit.

Check out these ways to be more energy efficient at your home or office and ideas to incorporate them into a World Oceans Day event!

Vanquish vampires

Vampire electronics are devices that suck power when they are plugged in, even when they aren’t being used. One common “vampire” is a cell phone charger which will use electricity, even when it’s not charging! Hair dryers, laptop chargers, and kitchen appliances can also suck electricity when left plugged in. Annually vampire electronics cost the US more than $10 billion in energy costs.

For World Oceans Day:

  • Have people at your event pledge to reduce energy usage by unplugging electronics and using power strips that turn off when you aren’t using them, so you don’t have to unplug everything.
  • Introduce the Kilowatt Challenge to save polar bears. Brainstorm ideas and check out this list for ways to reduce your energy usage and save money at the same time!

A bright (light bulb) idea

Saving electricity and the ocean can be as simple as turning off the lights when you are not in a room and installing LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs next time you need to replace your light bulbs. LED lights convert 80% of energy into light while incandescent bulbs are only 20% energy efficient. LED bulbs also last much longer- up to 100,000 hours for one bulb!

Photo Credit: Laura Westerhuis

For World Oceans Day:

  • Do an LED lightbulb giveaway or trade in. For inspiration check out Energy Star’s Change a Light, Change the World Campaign.
  • Set up a booth where people can decorate a light switch plate for their homes, to remind themselves to turn out the lights and save energy for the ocean

Shine a light on the problem

Research shows that many people have never heard of ocean acidification, and don’t understand how energy use impacts the ocean. While it may seem complex at first, there are easy ways to explain ocean acidification to visitors or friends. Metaphors can help illustrate a complicated concept.

For World Oceans Day:

  • Host a film screening showcasing a documentary on climate change, energy and ocean acidification.
  • Do a science demo on the process of ocean acidification and discuss how energy use plays impacts the ocean

Find a new path

Nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide are released for every gallon of gasoline we use. This adds up to 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere every year in the United States alone! The ocean takes a lot of carbon dioxide as it can but there is a limit to how much it can absorb. Through carpooling, bike riding and taking public transportation you can decrease your carbon footprint.

Vancouver Critical Mass

For World Oceans Day:

  • Organize a blue ocean bike ride. Your organization or event could offer an incentive for attendees that bike over. Help start up a Critical Mass in your city, with World Oceans Day being the first!
  • Invite people at your event to start a carpooling group with their coworkers. Suggest visiting Ride Share to help them get started.

How will you seas the day this month?


The Seas the Day initiative encourages and empowers people to take ocean conservation personally. Each month, we feature a new conservation theme with ways to help so come back regularly for more ocean-helping ideas and tips!

Abby Tripler 16-Oct-2015