Helping the Whales
Compiled by Jackie Hildering, Last updated: July 25th, 2007
following is intended to provide direction in what we all can do reduce stresses
to whales as they are serving as ambassadors of the state of marine ecosystems. We are all connected to these astounding animals and
impact their welfare no matter how far we may live from an ocean. Every
little bit of positive action helps. ____________________________________________________________________________
Inspiration (Wonder Water Web): Short motivational video on the importance of the ocean
Click here for a summary of simple actions to reduce chemicals in the environment.
*Seven more in depth ACTION points follow below.
1. Become informed about the stresses that whales endure and share this knowledge
Winter 2007 Whaling information (Japan adds 50 humpbacks to the slaughter)
Threats to whales - summative article "Whale Saving Starts at Home" May 2007.
Orcas on the Edge - summative article by National Wildlife Federation
For Whale's Sake - past columns dedicated to impacts on whales
c. Whaling, Culling and Captivity:
Petition against Dolphin Drive Hunts still conducted in Japan.
Inventory of orca in captivity with life spans of the animals; goes up to recent incidents such as the Ultrish aquarium catch (2003).
d. Sonar and general noise issues
e. Marine debris
- NOAA presentation on the impacts of marine debris aiming at the Gulf of Mexico but information applies to all oceans
- Poster How long it takes materials to break down in the ocean
f. Latest reports on issues facing whales / oceans:
2. Reduce consumption of the world’s resources. Become aware of your ecological footprint and work to reduce it. Don’t buy into the consumerism paradigm.
ecological footprint calculators:
1. “Redefining Progress” - available in many languages and provides a comparison of your result for other members of your country.
2. Canadian organization "Ecovoyageurs"
3. "Conservation International"
Summary table of positive actions from Jackie Hildering
Guide to going green - detailed information about how to reduce your impact on the planet
Top 10 things to make a difference from Conservation International
Article highlighting how easy it is to make a positive difference
Make sustainable consumer choices regarding seafood.
FLICK OFF Global Warming. Environmental Defence, with Virgin Mobile Canada, Roots Canada, MuchMusic and the Government of Ontario, is asking Canadians to FLICK OFF global warming. Find out how to reduce your impact.
"What you can do” from Environment Canada – lists actions specifically for community, home and school
Recycle more! It does make a difference! See the information put together by Stubbs Island Whale Watching naturalist, Leah Thorpe the Waste On-Line Resource , the On-line recycling guide , British Columbia's Recycling Hotline and Materials Exchange and the Eco-BC webpage with lists of the recycling centres nearest you. See also the brochures addressing specific recycling issues e.g. gardening; recycling in schools, etc. from the North Shore Recycling Programme.
What do to with old electronics? Don't put them in the landfill!!!! See the recycling links above and the Electronics Product Stewardship webpage for recycling options
Ocean Alliance’s 10 things you can do to save the ocean
As a company or community, follow the approach of “The Natural Step” - A non-profit environmental education organization working to build an ecologically and economically sustainable society
Buy from companies with sound social and environmental practices. Note that the following list is of course not inclusive: Eco-business directory; Mountain Equipment Co-op; Patagonia. Companies dedicated to ensuring PBDEs are not in their products: ; Patagonia; Hewlett-Packard, Apple, IBM, Toshiba, Fujitsu Siemens, Motorola, Intel, Panasonic/Matsushita, Sony, Dell, Phillips, Ericsson, Canon; Ikea, Berkeley Mills, Volvo.
3. Use non-toxic; biodegradable; “earth-friendly” products. The following links provide insights and alternatives
4. Live by the precautionary principle/approach using your power as a consumer and voter to ensure that we find out first if practices are dangerous to the environment before we proceed with them.
The Precautionary Principle as determined by the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 (see Principle 15)
5. Undertake direct action to ensure that the bioaccumulative Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are no longer used nor created. Ensure that governments take on a “cradle to grave” approach to chemicals; that new chemicals must be tested and that manufactures have responsibility for the full life cycle of the chemicals. Note that this is currently not a policy of the US “Environmental Protection Agency”.
Canadians, sign the Labour Environmental Alliance Society's petition.
6. Support research, conservation and undertake action to stop the barbarity of whaling
(lesson plans by J. Hildering)