World Ocean Day: The Ocean’s Power to Help
As part of our sustainability efforts, we work with Storytellers dedicated to our Planet, People, and Wildlife including activist, documentary filmmaker and public figure, Céline Cousteau. This World Oceans Day, June 8, she shares with us what the ocean means to her and why it’s vital we do what we can to protect both our waters and its habitats.
Céline has travelled the world to help amplify the voices of incredible individuals who are working to protect ecosystems, wildlife, and people. You can read more about this through our MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences.
An invaluable human resource
“To me, the ocean is many things. As an environmentalist and a mother, it’s an invaluable resource home to some of the world’s most incredible species, and an absolute wonder for my 9-year-old son. As an explorer, it’s a source of inspiration and adventure.
Today on World Oceans Day, we advocate for the protection of our world’s ocean waters and habitats, typically scaring scores of readers with doom and gloom through the litany of risks facing our oceans. Instead, I’d prefer to instill hope for the potential within our oceans to right some of our most egregious wrongs.
The wellbeing of humanity relies on the wellbeing of this planet. The list of challenges we collectively face can feel endless. The list of solutions addressing climate change, however, is steadily growing, and we may have to look no further than the waters surrounding us.”
Oceans absorb 20-35% of human-made CO2 emissions annually
“Our oceans need protection. We must eliminate the eight million pieces of daily plastic waste polluting our waterways by pursuing the long-term solution: prevention. But we wouldn’t be telling the whole story without addressing the fact that ocean restoration will unlock a natural means to mitigate humanity’s excessive carbon footprint and empower climate action.
According to Wildlife Trust’s “Let Nature Help” report, natural climate solutions could provide over a third of the cost-effective CO2 mitigation needed through 2030, while oceans absorb 20-35% of human-made CO2 emissions annually. Both the USA and Canada recently committed to nature-based solutions to fight climate change while the UK introduced regulations backing nature’s restoration as a viable means for carbon removal.
I believe in big, bold ideas based in nature and backed by science. I believe each one of us is the solution. This is why for the past ten years, I’ve worked with The TreadRight Foundation to amplify the impactful stories of the sustainable travel initiatives it supports worldwide.”
Treadright and Contiki’s Climate Action Plan
“Two of Treadright’s major projects, announced in 2021, are marine based carbon removal solutions, chosen for the way they support Contiki’s wider Climate Action Plan. As a major travel group, climate change is a critical issue – both for the way travel contributes, and for the myriad of developing solutions.
GreenWave – Regenerative Ocean Farming (Connecticut, USA)
GreenWave is a regenerative ocean farming organisation studying how kelp can be added to soil to increase its carbon storage potential while decreasing harmful nitrous oxide emissions on regenerative land farms.
This project aims to prove zero input farming has numerous benefits. Actor and activist Woody Harrelson agrees: regenerative agriculture is “a simple solution—a way to heal our planet” (Kiss the Ground, 2020).
Project Vesta – Using Olivine to Reverse Climate Change
Project Vesta’s mission is to harness the power of the oceans to remove a trillion tonnes of excess carbon from the atmosphere. Project Vesta will do this by taking olivine, a readily available green volcanic mineral, and placing it on the beach. Here, wave action will speed up the carbon dioxide capture process and de-acidify the ocean. It’s both a highly affordable and scalable solution to addressing climate change.
These projects, which harness the power of the ocean to ultimately benefit people, wildlife and our planet’s future, show us the solutions we require already exist, provided to us by nature. I call on governments and businesses worldwide to seek out these solutions and help them scale so we may all benefit.”
Head to our Contiki page to read about our commitment to carbon neutrality in more detail.