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6 years ago

What can I do?

With 85 million people living around the Baltic Sea and a body of water covering over 400,000 km2, you might feel like your own efforts to improve the sea environment won't be more than a drop in the ocean.

But if we all change one or two things in our lives for the benefit of the sea, it will make a difference. Here are some suggestions to get you started. Twenty things you can do to help save the Baltic Sea.

1. Change Dishwasher and Laundry Detergents

2. Pee on Land

3. Eat the Right Kind of Fish

There's lots of tasty and healthy fish, but we have to be careful not to eat the ones that are threatened by extinction. The Baltic Sea cod, for example, has adapted itself over thousands of years to survive in the brackish Baltic Sea waters. If we over-exploit it, it will be hard for the stock to recover.

It takes thirty years for the Baltic Sea to replace its water. Therefore, it is always better to pee on land than in the sea. If you only pee in the sea on any given day, there's enough pee to produce ten kilos of algae!

Phosphates contribute to eutrophication of our lakes and sea. The substance is often used in laundry and dishwashing detergents so make sure you buy one without.

6 years ago

4. Clean moderately
A lot of detergents we use today are harmful to the environment. Make sure you use environmentally friendly detergents when you clean your house. And don't wash your car in the driveway as the detergents in the water will wash down drains that normally flow straight into the closest lake. It is better to use a professional carwash, where the wastewater is sanitized and reused.

5. Eat Ecological Food
A major reason for eutrophication in the Baltic Sea is agriculture. Ecological farms, that do not use pesticides and artificial fertilizers, cause less discharge of phosphorous and nitrogen.

6. Find out the Origin of the Meat on Your Plate

7. Return Unused Medication to the Pharmacy
Wastewater treatment plants do not remove all harmful substances we pour down the drain or flush down the toilet.

The medications we take have a big impact on the marine environment. Once they are processed by our body, they end up in the sewage system and eventually in the Baltic Sea. This means that fish and other marine organisms are subject to hormones, painkillers and anti-inflammatory substances. The consequence of this is not entirely clear, but research proves that remains of contraceptive pills can cause male fish to become androgynous.

Animal farms leak high levels of nutrients to the sea. Therefore, try not to buy meat from farms that are located on the coast. You can also choose to eat ecological meat as animals are fed natural feed without artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

6 years ago

8. Choose the Right Toothpaste and Deodorant
Some brands of toothpaste and deodorant contain a substance called triclosan that kill certain bacteria. Unfortunately, when this substance reaches the sea, it also kills fish and other marine organisms.

Large quantities of triclosan in the seawater can also cause the development of bacteria that are particularly resistant to antibiotics.

9. Choose the Right Shampoo

If you are really suffering from dandruff, choose a shampoo without zinkpyrition.

10. Demand a Clean Ship (antipollution techniques )

If you travel on large ships you can make a difference by asking the shipping company about their environmental policy before you book your ticket.

When it comes to commercial transports, you can ask the company you buy from how their goods were transported to where you are. Demand an answer!

Only a fraction of all ships that traffic the Baltic Sea operate with the latest antipollution techniques and catalytic converters.

A lot of people suffer from dry scalp but think that it's dandruff. Therefore, a lot of people use dandruff shampoo when they actually don't need to. Dandruff shampoo contains zinkpyrition, a substance that is poisonous for fish and marine organisms. The same substance is prohibited in boat paints.

6 years ago

11. Empty Your Boat Toilet at the Marina
Only in Sweden, there are about 750 000 boats used for recreational purposes. About 90 000 of them have a toilet on board. In most countries around the Baltic Sea, it is still allowed to empty a toilet tank at sea (in Finland, however, this has been prohibited since 2005).

There are those who claim that toilet waste is a cosmetic problem, that it only marginally affects eutrophication. But since each emptied toilet tank contributes to eutrophication as a whole, why is it important to know how much it contributes?

Make sure your boat has the necessary technology to empty the tank at the marina. Insist that your marina or boat club starts accepting toilet waste. You can also start using toilets on land where possible.

12. Take the Disposable Grill with You When You Leave
The coal in many disposable grills and BBQs contain heavy metals that are harmful to the marine environment. Therefore, bring BBQ waste home with you - never dispose of it in the water!

13. Scrap Your Two-Stroke Engine

Instead, use a four-stroke engine, which uses 30-40 percent less fuel than a two-stroke engine.

14. Wash the Deck with Soft Soap

Read the instructions and choose a detergent that doesn't pollute the water around your boat. Maybe it is enough to clean your boat properly before the season launch and then just keep it clean with soft soap and water in season.

Many detergents made for boats are harmful to marine life. When you wash your boat, you can't prevent detergents from washing into the water when you rinse off the deck.

Make sure your boat's engine doesn't leak harmful petrol into the water. Two-stroke engines use approximately two thirds of the petrol you fill it with. The rest, 20-30 percent, leaves the engine unburned, straight into the air and water.

6 years ago

15. Think Before You Paint Your Boat
To prevent barnacles and other marine organisms attaching themselves to the ship hull, it has been a common practice to paint the hull with so called antifouling paints. As of January 1, 2008, the EU imposed a ban on the presence of boats painted with TBT (Tributyltin)-based paints in EU ports. Still, the level of these poisonous substances in Baltic Sea harbours is high.

The reason might be that some people paint their boats with illegal paints as they are afraid the new legal ones are not effective enough.

Be careful when you chose paint for your boat and make sure you use a poisonous free alternative. And if you are scraping off old paint, use protective glasses and mask and make sure you take old paint fragments to a depository.

16. Clean the Boat Instead of Painting It

17. Make Friends on the other side of the Baltic Sea

18. Let the Wind be Your Engine
There are lots of ways to enjoy the Baltic Sea without using a motor driven boat. Instead you can use the power of nature by sailing, paddling or rowing. It gives a lot more time to enjoy nature's beauty, silence and it will give you some exercise as well!

19. Reduce Your Share of Diesel Pollution

Good luck with your personal mission to Save our Baltic Sea!


Traffic accounts for 25% of nitrogen pollution in the Baltic Sea. It is still legal to use diesel that release four times as much nitrogen than normal petrol, even though there are more pure diesel options to choose from. If you can, try and influence buses and transport companies to use a more environmental option. You can also try and reduce your consumption of goods that have been transported by companies that are not environmentally friendly. Eating local produce and drinking water from the tap also helps!

90 million people live in the Baltic Sea drainage area. The way we live our lives affect the Baltic Sea and we should aim to learn from each other in order to minimize the negative effects on the Baltic Sea environment.

One alternative to painting your boat is to wash it once or a couple of times a year. To make it work you have to wash the boat with brushes right after the larvae that later turn into barnacles have attached themselves on the bottom.

6 years ago



Enough ice lines the coasts of Sweden (left) and Finland (right) in this natural-color image that it is difficult to tell where the coast ends and the sea begins. The sea ice envelops the islands that line this part of the coast, joining them to the shore. Only the sheltered water near Stockholm is partly free of ice. Dark water contrasts with the surrounding field of white snow and ice. Away from the coast, the Baltic Sea is sprinkled with bits of sea ice. A thin layer of clouds stretches over part of the scene, but the brighter ice is still visible beneath the clouds.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

(MODI on NASA’s Terra

satellite captured this true-color image on March 5, 2010. The previous day, three ferries traveling from Stockholm to Finland were trapped trying to maneuver through the ice, said news reports. Carrying about 1,000 passengers each, two of the ferries collided with each other while trying to avoid the ice, but no one was injured, reported the Helsinki Times. An icebreaker freed the ferries, which were back in port by the time this image was acquired on March 5.

The southern Baltic had been unusually cold, and winds pushed the ice into the Swedish coast, causing problems for ships outside of Stockholm and near ports farther north, including


The worst of the ice was between Stockholm and the Finnish island of Aland, reported CNN.

Daily images

of the Baltic.

6 years ago

(One or both might close in the meantime due to having achieved goal of signatures; you'll have to check)



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