We all want to make a difference and make a positive impact on the world we live in, but how do we do it?
We measure your effectiveness of “making a difference” or “having a social impact” with the number of people or animal’s lives you improve, and how much you improve them by. So let’s try and calculate your personal “Make a Difference” score.
Below is a list of some simple things that you can do in your life that will make a positive impact on dolphins, other marine animals, and the ocean, and they are all worth a certain number of points. Let’s see how many you can get done.
What is your “Make a Difference” score?
Actions to Protect Dolphins and other Marine Animals
- Learn more about dolphins = 5 points. We protect and love what we understand, so read a book or online articles about dolphins to better appreciate their anatomy, behavior, and amazing social skills.
- Visit Dolphin Quest = 10 points. Visit Dolphin Quest and take part in a dolphin encounter to solidify your love for dolphins and all marine life with an experience that will leave a lasting positive impact.
- Buy fish from sustainable fisheries only = 5 points. Inform yourself which fish supplies are healthy and which products really are “dolphin friendly” and then make an informed decision when grocery shopping. Check with national non-government organizations to see which labels you can trust.
- Don’t pollute the ocean = 5 points. Don’t throw plastic bags and other rubbish anywhere but in a bin, even if you are inland. Many bags and pieces of rubbish end up in the ocean, and floating plastic bags often look like squids and many dolphins die after ingesting them because they clog up the digestive system.
- Take part in a beach clean-up = 5 points. Collecting trash along beaches prevents it from getting into the ocean where it could harm dolphin and other animals through entanglement or ingestion.
- Call for help with live stranded cetaceans = 10 points. Call the Coast Guard or local stranding center to assist with any live stranded cetacean. Until help arrives, keep the animal wet, the blowhole free and shield it from unnecessary stress.
- Treat wild dolphins with respect = 5 points. Since the ocean is their home and we are just visiting, only choose tour operators that have committed themselves to abide by a code of conduct that regulates the manner and proximity of approach to the animals as well as the number of vessels and maximum duration of the whale and dolphin watching trip. Do not attempt to touch wild dolphins – this is dangerous for both of you, and do not feed them, or try to attract them either.
- Support your local aquarium or oceanarium = 5 points. Visit and support your local aquarium or oceanarium where you can view, interact, and learn about the various marine animals found in our ocean.
- Clean your stream = 10 points. You can help our environment by joining a local community group that conducts stream monitoring to investigate its health, animal life, and sustainability.
- Bug off naturally = 5 points. Use less-toxic bug repellants, made with eucalyptus or other natural ingredients, to keep bugs away.
Actions to Save Energy
- Avoid the draft = 5 points. Rearrange your rooms. Move your furniture around so you are sitting near interior walls – exterior walls and older windows are likely to be drafty. Don’t sit in the draft so you won’t have to turn on the heater and use energy.
- Adjust and save = 5 points. Adjust air conditioning and heating thermostats to use less energy when you’re sleeping or not at home.
- Paint to see the light = 10 points. Paints the walls of your home a light color. Dark colors tend to absorb light, using more energy from light bulbs to achieve the same effect.
- Turn it off = 5 points. Turn off lights, computers, and other equipment when you leave your office for long periods.
- Energy save mode = 5 points. Set energy-saving features on all office equipment to put them into sleep mode when not in use.
- Put timers on lights = 10 points. To avoid running up your electric bill unnecessarily and wasting energy, use automatic timers on lights both indoors and out.
- Install light sensors = 10 points. Use occupancy sensors to activate lights when you enter a room and automatically turn off when you leave.
- Get rid of the iron = 5 points. Reduce the need for ironing by taking clothes out of the dryer slightly damp and hanging them up. That can save energy, including yours.
Actions to Save Water
- Don’t use too much soap = 5 points. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed and can save about 50 to 150 gallons of water per month.
- Fix your toilet = 10 points. Install ultra-low flow toilets, adjust flush valves, or install dams on existing toilets to save gallons of water.
- Water down below = 5 points. Water the roots and soil around plants rather than spraying the leaves and flowers.
- Brush, shave, and save = 5 points. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Each effort saves about three gallons of water per day.
- Cover your pool = 10 points. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. This saves 1,000 gallons a month.
- Save the rain = 10 points. Collect and use rainwater for watering your garden.
- From fish to plants = 5 points. When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.
- Shower and save = 5 points. Install energy efficient shower heads and faucet aerators on water taps.
- Sweep it away = 5 points. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.
Actions to Recycle Resources and Prevent Pollution
- Pack a waste free lunch = 5 points. Pack lunches in a reusable cloth bag or lunch box and use reusable containers to reduce waste.
- Reuse drawings and paintings = 5 points. After children’s drawings and paintings have been displayed for a while, they can be used to wrap presents – this also makes the present even more special.
- E-cycle electronics = 10 points. Take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronic device to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of landfills.
- Camp small = 5 points. Minimize your impact on your campsite. Select a site that has already been used, to eliminate further expansion of the campsite. In addition, leave campsite in as natural a state as possible.
- E-bills = 10 points. Pay your bills via e-billing programs to reduce the amount of paper waste you generate.
- Keep our roads clean = 5 points. Cover your stuff when transporting waste and materials in an open pick-up truck.
- Use both sides = 5 points. Print on both sides of the paper. This is especially efficient for internal documents and drafts.
- Reuse it and save = 5 points. Bring reusable cups, utensils, etc. to work, instead of using disposable ones.
- Dry erase board = 5 points. Leave messages for family members/roommates on a reusable message board.
- Stop the junk = 5 points. Stop unwanted junk mail. The junk mail that Americans receive could produce enough energy to heat 250,000 homes for one day.