To celebrate the United Nations, World Ocean Day 2022, VOYA will be donating profits from all website sales on June 8th to the World Oceans Day Organisation. Your support will make a real difference for those around the world that protect and restore our beautiful ocean. 💙
World Ocean day is a day of celebration that propels action throughout the year to protect our blue planet. The theme for this year is ‘Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.’ This theme aligns with VOYA’s motto: ‘A better way’, as we believe there has to be a better way!
VOYA was inspired by the 300-year-old tradition of seaweed bathing, Ireland’s only indigenous therapy. As an Irish brand, we have always been heritage-focused and work closely with our coastal communities to inspire change and bring forward collective action.
VOYA helps to protect the biodiversity of the west coast of Ireland reefs through sustainable and traditional harvesting practices. We do not use any machinery to avoid harming the delicate seabed or marine life. All our seaweed is selected by eye and harvested by hand. VOYA’s expert harvesting team checks the tide levels of the Atlantic Ocean weeks in advance to strategically plan which type of seaweed to harvest. Only a small portion of the seaweed is cut at a time to ensure it grows back within 6 - 24 months. The harvesters, like farmers, move on to the different parts of the reef to allow it to fully grow back and replenish, thus creating sustainable harvesting. This allows species of juvenile algae to flourish and regrow. The team constantly monitors how the reefs and species are regrowing in different locations.
Seaweed is a fully renewable natural resource in Ireland. Its west coast is home to some of the most unpolluted water on earth. We do not need to use any of our precious freshwater resources for irrigation; we do not require the use of fertiliser, pesticides, or even soil. Every step in our process is natural and sustainable. Part of the algae class, which produces up to 70% of the oxygen in the air we breathe, seaweed naturally absorbs carbon dioxide and acts as a carbon sink at rates up to 50 times greater than forests on land. Seaweed, also known as sea vegetables, receives all its nourishment from the sea. Over 80% of the seaweed plant is made up of essential minerals, vitamins, and other bioactive compounds, making it a real superfood for the skin.
Seal Rescue Ireland
VOYA is not only proud to officially sponsor Seal Rescue Ireland, but we have also pledged to adopt one seal for every month of the year. Seals are a protected species under Irish and EU law and should not be touched or encouraged to go back into the water as it is quite normal for them to rest on land. The rescue centre relies entirely on volunteers who receive hundreds of phone calls a year reporting seals that might need rescuing all around the coast of Ireland. The volunteer team at the sanctuary care for the seals, treating them for illness, feeding them, and making sure they have clean water until they are ready to be released back into the sea.
Ocean and Human Health
Our ocean and coasts affect us all even those of us who don't live near the shoreline. When we think of public health risks, we may not think of the ocean as a factor. But increasingly, the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health. Intensive use of our ocean and runoff from land-based pollution sources are just two of many factors that stress our fragile ecosystems and increasingly lead to human health concerns. Waterborne infectious diseases, harmful algal bloom toxins, contaminated seafood, and chemical pollutants are other signals. Just as we can threaten the health of our ocean, so, too, can our ocean threaten our health. And it is not public health alone that may be threatened; our coastal economies, too, could be at significant risk. Keeping our ocean healthy is about more than protecting human health it's also about finding new ways to save lives. The diversity of species found in our ocean offers great promise for a treasure chest of pharmaceuticals and natural products to combat illness and improve our quality of life.
Blue Mind Theory
Humans have a deep connection between water and happiness. There is scientific evidence that shows that being in, on, or by the water gives us physical and psychological benefits. This is called the ‘blue mind’ and it is a mildly meditative state our brains enter when exposed to water. When you hear water or see the water it triggers a response in the brain that drops cortisol levels and releases feel-good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. You can get it by being in the water through swimming, you can get it by being under the water when free diving, you can get it by walking by a sea or lake, and sometimes you can even get it by looking at pictures of water. It's a big blue reset button that washes away the stress. In addition, ocean air is filled with negative ions which have a calming effect on the human mind. Studies have shown that negative ions possess not only an anti-microbial effect but also a mood-stabilising one. Research seems to indicate that these ions can influence serotonin levels in your brain and can alter your mood.
No matter where you live, oceans and coasts are essential to all life on earth including humans. The ocean is the largest ecosystem on Earth, and it is the planet’s life support system. To ensure a sustainable future, we must protect healthy marine ecosystems and preserve our blue planet. 🌎