Why are sea turtles endangered? And how you can save sea turtles by buying lip balm

Why are sea turtles endangered? And how you can save sea turtles by buying lip balm

Remember Crush? The slightly stoned-sounding 150-year-old sea turtle in Finding Nemo who was cruising the current with his son, Squirt?

Well today, we’re chatting about the real-life Crushes of the world, sea turtles - our favorite endangered marine animal. At Blue Heron, every product you purchase saves at least one sea turtle and diverts thousands of units of plastic from the landfill. Have your lip balm and a thriving sea turtle population too!

Keep reading for everything you need to know about endangered sea turtles + how buying lip balm can help save ALOT of hard-shelled lives.

baby sea turtle hatchlingA little about sea turtles

One of the earliest known animals on Earth, sea turtles have been around since the dinosaurs - about 110 million years (does that make them the last remaining dinosaurs??) There are 7 sea turtle species, many reaching 100 years old and 2000 pounds in size.  

The most sentimental of reptiles, sea turtles always return to their original birthplace to lay their own eggs – sometimes travelling thousands of miles to get back there. For most, this is their first time on land since their own birth 10-20 years ago.

Crush, our favorite Finding Nemo character (besides Dory) is a green sea turtle, but there are six more sea turtle species just waiting for their cartoon debut including the Leatherback Sea Turtle, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Olive Ridley sea turtle, Flatback sea turtle, and the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle.

Why are sea turtles important?

Sea turtles are an essential part of a healthy ocean. Without them, the natural order is disrupted and the ecosystem can fall apart quickly. Sea turtles keep the jellyfish population in check and keep reefs healthy by eating sponges that compete with coral for space. And it works the opposite way as well – birds, fish, and other animals depend on sea turtle hatchlings to keep themselves fed.

Why are sea turtles endangered?

All the species of turtles around the world are either endangered or critically endangered and unfortunately most of the blame falls on humans.

Between accidental catches in commercial fishing nets, entanglement in plastic pollution, destruction of beaches and underwater habitat, and turtle hunting for meat and eggs, sea turtles have it rough out there.

The good news: humans can be just as helpful as they are harmful and sea turtle conservation efforts around the world are not only saving the turtles but helping save the oceans. 

How does plastic pollution impact sea turtles?

Plastic pollution is the biggest reason for sea turtle decline. Between getting caught in plastic in the open ocean, mistaking plastic for food and ingesting it, and plastic waste on beaches preventing hatchlings from reaching the sea, plastic is a constant concern for sea turtles.

sea turtle eating plastic

This is why sea turtle and plastic pollution programs go hand in hand. We need to limit the plastic pollution both on beaches and in oceans to keep bringing sea turtle numbers back up (not to mention all the other ocean dwellers - about 1 million marine animals are killed every year from plastic pollution.)

woman applying blue heron botanicals lip balm

How buying our lip balm saves sea turtles

Every product purchased from Blue Heron Botanicals saves at least one sea turtle while limiting plastic pollution. How? We donate a portion of every product sold to two programs run by SEE Turtles – Billion Baby Turtles and Sea Turtles & Plastic.

In the Billion Baby Turtles program, the money goes directly to grassroots conservation organizations working on turtle nesting beaches in countries like Costa Rica, Mexico, and Australia. These organizations monitor every aspect of the nesting beaches – clearing away debris, preventing hunting and capture of eggs, protecting the nesting sea turtles and their nests while they’re incubating and hatching, and making sure all the baby turtles make it out to the ocean. With this program, every product sold saves at least one baby turtle, and oftentimes more.  

The other half of our donation goes to the Sea Turtles and Plastic program which is focused on education, beach cleanups, and plastic pollution control. They work with local communities to develop solutions for better processing of plastic waste,  help educate communities about the effects of plastic pollution, and create repurposing projects to keep the plastic from returning to beaches while creating local jobs in the community.  

sea turtle conservation

How else you can help sea turtles

  1. Take all your trash with you after your beach visit. 

  2. Take part in beach cleanups - that debris on the beach winds up in the stomachs of animals and impedes baby sea turtles from reaching the ocean. 

  3. Limit your plastic consumption - straight up plastic garbage is one thing but even recyclable plastics ends up in landfills and oceans. The recycling system is not what it used to be - 90% of what we recycle actually goes straight to the landfill or incinerator.

  4. Smooth out sandcastles and holes before leaving the beach - they can act as obstacles for turtle hatchlings and nesting turtles. 

  5. Never let balloons go off into the sky - they almost always end up in the ocean where sea turtles and other marine life mistake them for food. 

  6. Purchase any product from our site to save at least one sea turtles plus fund the cleanup of critical nesting beaches around the world. Love on your lips and the planet! 

Q & A with our Founder, Theora

Q: What drew you to sea turtles?

A: My aunt lives in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands – a stunning tropical beach town with crystal clear turquoise water. I went to visit her after college and fell in love with snorkelling – it was unbelievable, the most vibrant underwater world with a bursting coral reef, an entire rainbow of fish, eels, giant rays, and of course sea turtles. It was basically a real-life Finding Nemo scene – just exploding with color and life. Then, I went back 8 or 10 years later, and the amount of degradation to the reefs was shocking. I went to the same snorkelling spots and it was like a completely different place – basically an underwater desert.

The degradation wasn’t only from bleaching, warm water, and sunscreen, it was also from people touching the reefs and fauna, not realizing they’re damaging it. I was shocked to see this in real life – they’re not kidding when they say these environments are shrinking. So, that’s where it all began – I wanted to help preserve these precious ecosystems.

Q: Why did you choose the SEE Turtles program specifically?

A: They made it really easy for me to get started as a small business, not having a lot of money or sales when I first started. There’s a lot of other programs that are based off profit – oftentimes 1% of your profit. With this model, if a company isn’t making profits, there’s no donation. With the SEE Turtles program, they receive donations based on what a company sells and not their end profit - that means as long as there's sales, there's a donation. That model makes more sense to me because some years (especially in the beginning), I sold a lot of products but made no profit because my expenses were high, and regardless they received a donation.

help save the sea turtlesQ: How many sea turtles/units of plastic have you saved so far?

We’ve saved 84641 sea turtles and replaced 108289 units of conventional plastic packaging with zero-waste compostable packaging. In addition to packaging, we formulate our products to keep oceans and sea creatures safe (along with you, the wearer of course).

Many cosmetics contain microplastics, silicones, Teflon, oxybenzone, EDTA’s, PFA’s, and PFC’s which can be detrimental to both the oceans and marine life. Our 100% natural wildcrafted lip balms contain zero harmful ingredients and are packed with deeply nourishing and healing botanicals and essential oils that are sustainably harvested and earth-friendly.

"I’ve donated well over $10,000 to this program which I never would’ve been able to do on my own. I’m really proud of that and grateful to See Turtles for helping me reach that milestone. As I grow the business, I want to just keep multiplying how much I can give back."


Want to help save sea turtles? It’s one for you, one for me! Treat yourself to a sustainable, deeply hydrating botanical lip balm, and save at least one sea turtle with every item purchased.