5 Simple Sustainable Swaps To Help Our Oceans - Ecobuy

It’s no secret, our oceans are choking on waste, warming to unsustainable levels, and being depleted of all the incredible resources they have to offer us land-lubbers. When you hear stats like the following, it’s hard not to feel compelled to act:

  • By 2050, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish (Ellen MacArthur Foundation)
  • It’s predicted that if overfishing continues at the current pace, all the world’s fisheries will collapse by the year 2048 (Nature Conservancy Australia)
  • By 2030 it is estimated that sea surface temperatures will rise by 0.3-0.9 ºC in Australian waters. This may not sound like a lot, but in terms of the ocean ecosystem is drastic: being enough to cause ocean acidification and impact dramatically on marine life, as demonstrated by the mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef

A healthy ocean isn’t just good for the fish, whales, crustaceans, and other plants and creatures who live there, but critical for humankind too. Just in case you needed some more self-motivated reasons to protect our oceans:

Did you know?
  • Our Oceans are the true lungs of the planet. Seaweed accounts for 54% of the world’s oxygen production, and oceans are the true temperature regulators of the planet, according to a recent study by the Brazilian Institute of Forests (Instituto Brasileiro de Florestas)
  • Up to 410 million people will be living in areas less than 2 metres above sea level, and are at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods due sea level rises if global warming does not reduce in pace (Nature Communications).

In Australia we have a special relationship with our oceans, and I know many parents like me will be shaking their heads right now thinking, that’s not a world I want to leave for my children.

But whilst ultimately, the solution to ocean pollution, warming and so on may be in great part systemic, we can ALL easily play a part in preserving a healthy ocean for the next generation, just by making some easy swaps day to day.


According to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. Our marine life is swallowing more plastic than ever — and it’s killing them. Plastic bottles and bags are some of the worst culprits. Small ocean fish and mammals, seabirds and even turtles get entangled in plastic bags and drown. To a turtle, a plastic bag looks a lot like a jellyfish, but unfortunately doesn’t make such a nutritious lunch. These soft plastics block their stomachs and lead to starvation.

Keep a reusable plastic bag, and a drinks bottle, with you at all times, and say no to single use plastic that will endanger our native sea-life.

And while you’re at it, chip in with any petitions in your State to ban single-use plastic items like bags and straws… just a few clicks could make all the difference!

Sinclo reusable bottle

Sinclo reusable bottle


With the vast majority of our drainage systems eventually linked to the ocean, it makes sense that our washing habits will impact the marine ecosystem. When it comes to doing your washing, there are two areas you can look at to easily improve your ocean impact.

Firstly, look at the chemical detergents you are using to wash your clothes, as chemical pollution in our oceans doesn’t just come from agriculture and manufacturing. Whilst the jury’s still out on the impact of particular chemicals on the delicate ocean ecosystem, it can never hurt to switch to more natural cleaning agents.

Another easy hack to help reduce the amount of plastic swirling around the deep blue is to invest in a micro-plastic catching laundry bag. Every time you wash synthetic fibres like polyester, they release small micro-plastics which eventually pollute our food chain. With 99% of the ocean’s plastic estimated to lie beneath the surface, tackling micro-plastics at the source is something we can all easily help with.


For anyone who hasn’t already watched SeaSpiracy, I’d highly recommend it. But here’s the upshot: our approach to fishing is out-of-control. It’s predicted that if overfishing continues at the current pace, all the world’s fisheries will collapse by the year 2048 (Nature Conservancy Australia).

If you don’t want to give up fish altogether, make sure to look for sustainably caught and local varieties in your local supermarket – both the fish, and ultimately the fishing industry, will thank you.


Slip, slap, slop, Summer and sunscreen go together like sprinkles and ice-cream. 

It is estimated that 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the oceans each year. And this doesn’t just come from the sunscreen washed directly off in the sea.  The sunscreen that you rinse down the drain when you shower can eventually find its way into the ocean. In addition, aerosol sprays can spread sunscreen particles across the sand. When the tide comes in, these chemicals can get washed out to sea.  

Without getting into too much of a science lesson, there are physical (mineral) sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. It’s chemical sunscreens that are most often a problem, as some of the main chemicals used in sunscreens are harmful to corals and other marine life. The worst culprit is Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3), but many of these chemicals can lead to coral bleaching, and cause other damage and abnormalities to our reef eco-systems.

But never fear, reef-safe sunscreen is a thing, and many of them are certified safe for kids aged 6 months +, so the whole family can lotion up more sustainably.

Water Resistant Reef Safe Sunscreen

Reef Safe Sunscreen


Many of the bigger household names are now starting to get on-board with sustainability initiatives that benefit our ocean. But many of the most sustainable options are made by smaller, local businesses who fuse ocean-conservation into their very DNA. Whether they’re helping remove plastic from the ocean by using recycled plastic materials, overhauling their supply chains and shipping policies to reduce wastage, or simply producing in sustainable small batches, these small businesses tend to be motivated by purpose, rather than shareholder profit, to maximise the goodness sent back into the ocean.

Some home-grown ocean heroes include companies like ZeroCo (for cleaning), Pottery For the Planet (for homewares) and I’d be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to toot the horn of my own company, Little Fishy Swimwear. We make adorable, ocean-inspired kids swimwear from plastic bottles that would otherwise pollute our waters, and give money from every purchase back to ocean conservation.

As we always like to say, individually we may only be one drop, but together we are an ocean. If we all work together to make these simple switches, we might just be able to save one too.



Author: Jessica Page.*

* Jessica Page is the owner of Little Fishy Swim, an eco-luxe children’s swimwear company that aims to inspire the next generation of little ocean warriors, and clear the ocean of pollution, one plastic bottle at a time. When she’s not behind her laptop, you’ll find her swimming at Bondi Beach and planning her next ocean adventure.