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7 Reasons We Love Seaweed

seaweed underwater

Seaweed really is an underrated resource when it comes to helping protect and repair our planet.

Don’t just take our word for it though, our Earthshot Prize innovators can’t get enough either!

2022 Finalist, SeaForester, grows seaweed from spores in “green gravel” and then scatters this into the ocean where they latch onto the seabed and begin multiplying. This helps to reverse acidification, boost marine biodiversity and – crucially – capture carbon.

From source to application. 2022 Winner Notpla uses seaweed as an alternative to plastic to create a range of consumer packaging products, including takeaway food containers. Because their material is completely natural it is entirely biodegradable, helping to reduce plastic waste.

Want to know more? Here are the seven things we love about seaweed 👇

1. Seaweed is incredibly fast-growing.

Some species can grow up to two feet per day and up to 100 feet long… that’s as big as a ten-story building!

2. Although it looks like a plant, seaweed is actually algae.

This biological difference makes it super-efficient at sucking up CO2 from its surroundings.

3. Seaweed forests are the hedgerows of the ocean.

They provide crucial habitats for a huge variety of marine life including fish, crabs and sea turtles.

4. Seaweed is the Swiss army knife of the sea.

It’s used to make all sorts of things including fuel, clothes and of course plastic packaging alternatives – reducing waste and creating jobs!

5. It’s also a fantastic natural, chemical-free fertiliser for your garden.

Grab a bag next time you’re in your local garden centre to give your home-grown fruits and veggies a boost.

6. Seaweed is a superfood for your body too.

Packed full of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants you’ll often find it in sushi, soups and stews but it can also be a great savoury snack.

7. And finally, some species of seaweed glow in the dark!

This is known as bioluminescence and as well as just looking beautiful it’s used to keep them safe or attract food.

So next time you’re at the beach and spot some seaweed, take a moment to show some gratitude to our slimy superhero!

The Earthshot Prize