Safe Summer Fun
Beach towel. Check.
Cooler of drinks and snacks. Check and check.
It’s a pretty common checklist. But as we prepare to head to the beach beginning this weekend (woo-hoo unofficial start of summer!), let’s resolve to also make sure that we are doing our part, too. Here are a few things you can do to make your beach trip fun for you and better for our beaches.
Most of us know the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but did you know that many popular sunscreens have ingredients that can actually damage coral reefs? Oxybenzone, a common ingredient in sunscreens, has been shown to decrease corals’ defenses against bleaching, according to recent studies. How can you help? Well, I’m glad you asked. Consider switching out your old brand of sunscreen for one that has reef-friendly, natural ingredients like a mineral sunscreen or lotion containing non-nano zinc dioxide.
Packing your lunch or drinks for the long, hot day? Consider packing foods in re-usable containers and using re-usable plates and other service items. Not bringing our food in disposable packaging and avoiding plastic utensils will likely mean less trash left behind. Want to go above and beyond? Bring a bag and take your trash home with you! Even with trash bins provided at most beaches, high winds can occasionally carry trash from the bins out into the oceans or scatter it across the beach, where birds and other animals accidentally ingest it.
Wait, you’d still like to do more? You go, eco-hero.
If possible try walking or riding a bike to the beach. Not only will it increase your time in the sunshine, it’s a great way to exercise! Plus, it allows you to decrease your carbon footprint.
As a coastal community and a year-round destination for sun-seeking, sand-loving vacationers, we are incredibly invested in how our beaches and shorelines are treated. Help us keep our beaches and animals safe, and enjoy your summer!