How you can help
You can have an impact on the state of the Baltic Sea by making more conscious daily choices.
Here are some practical tips for environmentally friendly behaviour:
- Eat fish that are not endangered. To find out which these are, download WWF's Seafood Guide.
- Where possible, eat food produced locally. Shorter transportation distances mean fewer airborne nitrogen emissions which contribute to eutrophication.
- Reduce your consumption of meat. Meat production produces large amounts of manure, a primary source of nutrients that cause eutrophication. Eating large amounts of animal products can also raise nitrogen levels in human urine, which puts a strain on the Baltic Sea even after purification.
- Stop or reduce your use of disposable cutlery, plates and cups.
- Use environmentally friendly (eco-label and phosphate-free) cleaning and personal care products.
- Don’t release dishwater directly to the water system. Instead, allow the soil to absorb it. Make sure your waste water treatment system is of the best available technology.
- Replace modern lavatories in summer homes with composting ones to save water and energy and more effectively reduce nutrients.
- Minimize the amount of waste you create.
- Compost all organic material.
- Dispose of all relevant garbage at recycling centres.
- Empty your boat’s septic tank and other waste water into the treatment systems in harbours, rather than at sea.
- Choose environmentally friendly vehicles and fuels on land and at sea.
- Keep your cruising on motor boats and jet skis to a minimum reduce pollution, noise and emissions of nitrous oxides.
- Replace your boat's old two-stroke engine with a four-stroke.
- Use environmentally friendly anti-fouling paint and methods to keep the boat hull clean.
- Stop using artificial fertilizers and pesticides in your garden as they can end up in water systems.
- Keep bonfires away from the water to reduce the risk of ash getting into the water and exacerbating eutrophication.
Managing the shore
- Maintain the natural coast line at your summer cottage.
- Avoid dredging as it may release nutrients and toxics stored in the sediment and foster eutrophication.
- Respect bird sanctuaries and do not disturb nesting birds.
- Ask your local politicians about the Baltic Sea environment.
- Write letters to the editor of the newspapers or magazines that you read – whether national or local.
- Keep the pressure on government and business decision makers, especially if you live in a coastal municipality.
- Join WWF as a member to support our work to improve the state of the Baltic Sea.