Action of the month

2018 is the Third International Year of the Reef (IYOR). A time to act. Each month throughout 2018, Reef Check Australia will suggest an action you can take to help our reefs.

Some of these actions will be more involved than others, so check out the suggestions below and pick which ones you can do. We can all do something – and the time to act is now.


December Action - Have an Eco-Friendly Xmas!

Christmas is known as the silly season for a reason. We can go a little OTT when it comes to, well, pretty much everything. So for our last Action of the Month for 2018, here’s some tips to make your Xmas environmental impact a bit lighter!

  1. Avoid buying material items that aren’t wanted/needed . Instead, try making a donation or adoption in someone’s name, or getting them an experience to remember, like a scuba dive or snorkel trip if they’re an ocean lover!
  2. Scrap the wrap – We use around 8000 tonnes of wrapping paper each year in Australia alone. So ask yourself – do you REALLY need to wrap it? Or can you re-use wrapping paper from last year, or find another material to wrap with?
  3. Resist the urge to splurge – When it comes to the dinner table, we all tend to get a bit over-indulgent at Christmas time. Try to only cater to the number of people you have coming and how much they can eat! And if you do make too much food, use all your leftovers.
  4. Source local – Whether it’s gifts or food items, try to source from small local businesses or locally made items.
  5. Take back the power – Yes it’s Christmas, but do you really need 2000 fairy lights, air con blazing, TV on and the radio playing festive tunes all the time? Give the environment a gift this year and reduce your carbon footprint!



November Action – National Recycling Week

Join the team at Reef Check in celebrating National Recycling week from 12-18 November!

Recycling is something we can all do every day to make a positive change in our environmental impact.

That’s why our November Action of the Month is to encourage everyone to recycle, recycle, recycle! If you’re already a regular recycler, find out more about compostable products and recycling soft plastics.

And if you’re a recycling star and already doing all of these, please share this action on social media and ask your friends to join National Recycling Week too. Don’t forget to tag us and use the hashtags #NationalRecyclingWeek #togetherforouroceans #reduceyourwaste



October Action – Get Educated This October!

Our Action of the Month for October is simple – pick an issue relating to our reefs and oceans and educate yourself a bit more about it and what we can do to help.

None of us know it all – even top scientist are constantly learning more about the pressures and factors affecting our marine environments. But the more we know, the more we can do!

So our challenge to all you reef lovers this month is to learn more about any one of the threats facing our reefs and oceans and follow the Reef Check tips on how to tackle it.

Share this challenge with your followers on social media and ask them to get educated too!



September Action – Be Carefree and Car Free on 22 September!

September 22nd marks World Car Free day, and here’s why we should all get involved.

Our personal vehicles are a major contributor to global warming. As climate change has been recognised as the greatest threat to the long-term health of reefs around the world, it’s important that we all take what action we can to help.

So let’s get keep up the good work during the Third International Year of the Reef, and go car free on 22 September. But why stop there? Take every opportunity you can to walk, run, cycle or any other car free travel you can think of to get to your destination! 

Why not get together with some friends and plan a fun way of getting about on World Car Free day? Share your car free journeys on social media with the hashtags #worldcarfreeday #fightclimatechange #taketheheatoff and don’t forget to tag us!



August Action - Become a Virtual Diver!

Our August action gives you the chance to be a reef surveyor - from your living room!

Reef Check Australia is part of an amazing new initiative to gather information on the Great Barrier Reef - and you can be part of it too. 

The Virtual Reef Diver project lets you become a virtual diver to help classify Reef images to contribute to coral cover models for the Great Barrier Reef.

Take citizen science action this month! 



July Action - Plastic Free July

Happy Plastic Free July! Your mission for the month, should you choose to accept it, is to avoid all single use plastic for the month. 

Download our free Ocean Action Kit, full of helpful tips and reminders to make things easy. 

Fill out the plastics quiz to find out where you are currently doing well and not so well!

Last step - Just do it! Ditch the plastic, share this with your friends on social media and ask them all to do the same. We really can make a world of difference!





June Action - Pledge For Our Oceans

Let's share our love of the oceans and show the world how easy it is to make a difference! 

Our Action of the Month for June is all about conservation pledges. Choose a pledge- something you DON'T already do, but will be able to achieve and do everything you can to uphold that pledge for the month of June (and beyond!). Prove you are upholding your pledge- this can be done via a photo (i.e. you using your keep cup, or sitting in rather than using a throw away cup), and share your amazing effort at upholding your pledge with us via your social media channels. 

Are you up for the challenge?




May 2018 – Pay It Forward!

Inspired by our amazing Reef Ambassador Tanya Kenyon, who decided to hold a raffle to raise funds, in part for Reef Check Australia to “Pay It Forward” for her scholarship from the Layne Beachley Foundation, our suggestion action for May is to find a way to pay it forward while helping the marine environment. You could take your neighbour’s children to school along with your own to help them reduce fuel emissions, or maybe buy your mum a plastic shopping bag so she’s ready to ditch single use plastic bags! Whatever you do, make sure you tell them why you’re doing it and tell them to pay it forward too.


April Action - Check in on your plastic use

Sunday 22nd April was Earth Day, and this year it focused on one of the biggest issues facing the environment today – plastic pollution.

In every square kilometre of ocean it is estimated that there are 18,000 pieces of plastic, with over 11 billion pieces of plastic debris on coral reefs in the Asia-Pacific region alone. Every piece of plastic has potential for devastating effects on our environment, wildlife an even our food chain.

Our suggested April Action is to visit the Earth Day Plastic Calendar and find out exactly how much plastic you use each year. Then use the Plastic Pollution footprint tracker and reduction plan to start reducing your single use plastic consumption. 



March Action - Switch Off

We switched off for Earth hour on March 24, along with 30,000 others who signed up to participate.

As part of the third International Year of the Reef, it’s more important than ever to remind people how their energy use impacts on our reefs and oceans. Climate change has been recognised as the greatest threat to the long-term health of reefs around the world. Earth hour is an amazing display of solidarity in climate action. Everyday we can each commit to an action that reduces our climate footprint. Take the first step and estimate your environmental footprint, then check out our simple tips to start reducing your footprint



February 2018 – Help Us Find a New Love!

Help us celebrate Valentines Day by taking a few moments to tell us (and everyone else) about an Australia Reef that you love. Share a photo and a little info about the reef you’ve chosen and tag @reefcheckaustralia in the photo.

Let’s let everyone know that our reefs and oceans need to be loved and cared for just like we all do!

We’re always looking for new sites to survey and it might be that your local reef isn’t on our radar yet. Plus you can let your friends and followers about the amazing marine environment on their doorstep.



January 2018 – Letter to the Editor

We’d love you to take a few minutes to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper and make sure people in your area know about IYOR and how they can help. Use our template if you like!

Letters to the editor are a great way of reaching people. To give your letter the best chance of being published, keep it short and to the point and follow the guidelines below:

Keep your letter under 300 words and make clear and simple points.
Add your name, address, email and a contact phone number to the bottom of your letter (they won’t publish these but they do need them to accept your submission).
Put “Letter to the Editor: International Year of the Reef” in the subject line.