TUCSON — For most of us living in the Sonoran Desert, the ocean may not always be on our minds, but did you know that our everyday actions affect the oceans around the world?

Here's how you can help protect them:

Saying No to Plastic

Each year, 8 million tons (that's about 8 million cars worth) of plastic end up in the oceans around the world. Plastic is a strong substance so it takes a long time to break down. This plastic is sometimes mistaken for food by sea turtles and other marine animals. Additionally, when plastic does start to break down, it becomes tiny, microscopic particles that are accidentally eaten by all sea life. Recycling is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic going into the oceans but an even better solution is to not use plastic at all.

Choosing not to use plastic prodcuts designed to be used only once and then thrown away (such as: straws, plastic bags, water bottles) can help save more than 100 million marine animals affected by plastic waste each year.

Image Source: Mr Trash Wheel, the official voice of the Water Wheel cleaning Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Five Tips to Help You Say 'No' to Single-Use Plastic

  • Drink water out of reusable water bottles made from recycled plastic, glass or stainless steel
  • Use reusable bags when shopping instead of plastic grocery bags
  • Use reusable sandwich bags rather than a plastic sandwich bag
  • Sip water directly from the glass, instead of using a straw
  • Attend Summer Safari Nights at the Zoo on June 29 and July 20 to purchase a "Go Green" kit from our teen volunteers. These kits include a reusable straw and sandwich bag for you and a veggie bag for parents to use when shopping.

Watching What You Eat

Do you enjoy eating salmon, crab and other types of seafood? If so, you can easily protect the oceans by carefully selecting what seafood you eat!

Fish populations around the world are declining due to fishing practices that are not eco-friendly. To protect the oceans and fish populations, download the Seafood Watch® app onto your phone. This app will let you know what types of fish are OK to eat without negatively affecting our oceans and which ones you should avoid eating.

DID YOU KNOW?

• Giraffes spend up to 75 percent of their day eating at certain times of the year. Eating is like a full-time job!

• In order to pump blood throughout their bodies, giraffes' hearts can weigh up to 25 pounds.

• Most people can guess giraffes are the tallenst mammals on the planet. But did you know that their legs alone are taller than most people at about 6 feet?!?