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ARTICLES | Environment | How to Be an Eco-Friendly Beach Goer

How to Be an Eco-Friendly Beach Goer

Mikayla Richards | May 10th, 2017

Now that the temperature is rising and summer is fast approaching it is important to remember to keep the environment in mind during summer activities, especially hitting the beach. Here are some tips on how to protect the environment while still enjoying the beach!

1. Nothing Gets Left Behind

This is the most important tip and the easiest one to follow. Everything you take to the beach should leave with you. This way the amount of pollution at the beach is limited. It also prevents animals from getting sick from waste left at the beach.

2. Pack Lunch in Reusable Containers

When bringing a meal to the beach, using reusable containers is the best way to go. Reusable containers eliminate waste unlike prepackaged food and plastic bags. Plastic bags can get easily blown away, and more than likely will end up in the nearest body of water, which is the last thing you want to happen! This goes for water bottles too, bring a reusable water bottle and refill it throughout the day.

3. Use Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

Certain sunscreens with the chemical oxybenzone damage coral reefs by speeding up the coral bleaching effect, even killing young coral reefs. We are not saying stop wearing sunscreen by any means. Sunscreen is vital at the beach, it protects our skin from harmful UV rays and prevents skin cancer. The key is to be aware of the ingredients in the sunscreen you use. Look for eco-friendly sunscreens with natural ingredients and avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone in it. Protect your skin while helping the environment!

4. Don’t Collect Shells

Shells are important to beaches, they provide homes and hiding places for animals, stabilize beaches and anchor seagrass. By removing shells, it changes the environment and has negative impacts like erosion and a decrease of animals who need the shells. Instead of taking shells as a souvenir, take a picture of them!

5. Eco-Friendly Beach Toys

Playing in the sand is a must at the beach, and building sand castles are better with sand toys! Any sand toys that are brought to the beach should leave the beach with you. Unfortunately, sometimes beach toys get lost in the sand or float away in the water. Using eco-friendly toys like Zoë B Fantastic Beach Toys can help limit the impact of this when it happens. These toys are biodegradable and will break down in 2-3 years. Also, they are toxic-free and safe for children.

6.Avoid Using Bath Products if Showering Outdoors

The water from outside showers usually runs into the beach and is not filtered before entering the body of water. The chemicals in your shampoo and soap will contaminate the water. This will harm the wildlife, it's best to go without any products.

7.Obey All Signs

Signs at the beach are there to protect you and the environment! If there are signs that say “keep off dunes” it’s because dunes provide habitats for plants and animals. By walking on the dunes, you disturb their habitat. Stay on marked paths to avoid causing any damage.

8) Don’t Touch or Feed the Animals

Let the wild animals be free! This is their home, and when you are at the beach, you are visiting so try your best not to disturb them.

Also, don’t feed any animals. Seagulls can be persistent but refrain from feeding them. Feeding seagulls cause them to come back to beaches where they are fed, leaving waste and pestering other beach goers. An increase in animal waste causes an increase in harmful microorganisms which can damage the beach. On top of that human food can cause animals to become sick and hurt the wildlife.

Going to the beach is one of the best parts of summer! When you’re there, be sure to follow these tips to help protect the environment and keep beaches clean, beautiful and healthy so we can continue to enjoy them.

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