This Week in Travel: World Ocean Day

#1 A coral’s final plea

Images from Pantone

We, typically, believe that colourful corals are in good health. After all, it’s the bleached corals that are in trouble, right?

Well, it turns out that when coral starts displaying incredibly vivid colours that they’re dying and crying out for help. To create greater awareness of what’s happening to the reefs, Adobe, the Pantone Color Institute and the Ocean Agency have teamed up. Together, the organisations have created three new colours: Glowing Yellow, Glowing Blue, and Glowing Purple. These colours reflect what corals may fluoresce before they die.

As part of the collaboration, the organisations have launched a design challenge to help bolster awareness for coral reef conservation. Designers have the opportunity for their art to be featured in New York City’s Times Square as well as key conferences and events for ocean policy.

Read also: Creating a Plastic-less World with Bye Bye Plastic Bags’ Melati and Isabel Wijsen

#2 How much microplastic are you eating?

Photo by mali maeder from Pexels

It’s no secret that we’re putting plenty of microplastics into the oceans and that those particles are making their way back to us. To make it a bit more disturbing, though, a new study has found that the average person eats and breathes in up to 120,000 particles of microplastics each year! And, if you haven’t stopped using plastic water bottles, you should really rethink that decision. Those who get their water exclusively from plastic bottles consume an additional 90,000 particles of microplastics per year!

The health effects of all these microplastics are still unknown, but it’s believed that they release toxic substances into our bodies and trigger immune reactions.

Read also: Scientists have found microplastics in our poop

#3 Man escapes doghouse thanks to ocean purchase

A screenshot of the online auction page for the piece of sold ocean. Image from The Paper

In weird ocean news, one man in China, who had recently been shamed by his partner for forgetting Valentine’s Day, really went out of his way to make amends. The man purchased 210 hectares of ocean, off the coast of Shandong Province, for his love. The sea-acreage cost him approximately US$99,000.

The woman in question now has exclusive usage rights over the stretch of ocean, which was previously owned by a fish farming company.

We agree that this sounds a bit fishy, but apparently purchasing the usage rights for sections of the ocean is completely legitimate.

We just hope these two do something good with their newfound “property”.

#4 Say goodbye to hotel toiletry bottles

Photo by Trung Do Bao on Unsplash

A California bill is looking to scrap single-use toiletries from hotels and hospitality establishments. The bill states that from the start of 2023, hotels with more than 50 rooms will be prohibited from providing plastic toiletries to guests. All other lodging establishments will have until 2024 to comply. The bill was recently passed by the State Assembly and has now moved to the State Senate for consideration. California’s goal is to phase out single-use plastics as a whole (plastic bags have already been banned).

Although we already see hotels moving away from bottles and towards refillable dispensers, we’re really happy to see that the state is taking firm action. Every bottle not purchased for use is one bottle that’s not going to end up at sea.

Read also: The Seabin you helped us get is saving the oceans

#5 Carnival Cruises is too old to learn new tricks

Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash

Back in 2016, Carnival Cruise’s Princess Cruise Line agreed to pay a $40 million penalty for illegally dumping waste into the ocean and then trying to cover it up. Instead of using this as a learning experience, the cruise-liner decided to keep on dumping. They’ve now been ordered to pay an additional $20 million penalty due to new violations including discharging plastic into waters in the Bahamas, falsifying records and interfering with court supervision of ships.

The company claims that they are committed to environmental excellence, but this isn’t even the second time they’ve been penalised for polluting and falsifying records. They were fined $18 million in 2002 for these exact same issues.

Something tells me that these penalties are just too inconsequential for the $35 billion company…

Elisabeth Forsman

Our predictably unpredictable adventure nomad, Elisabeth is the yogi who wants it fast, the ultra-runner who prefers taking a hike, and the swimmer with a fear of lap pools. A consummate lover of all things outdoors, she’s on a perpetual quest to get those around her outside and moving.

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