With summer fast approaching and march break just around the corner, many of us will be heading to the beach as soon as we can! Today I wanted to share some quick tips on how you can be more environmentally conscious during your trip to the beach. Whether it’s just a day trip or a weeklong tropical vacay, it’s your job to be a responsible beach goer and help to protect our oceans and our planet.
Follow these tips and you’ll be setting the sustainable trend in the sand this year.
Count your beach miles
Not all of us are fortunate enough to live within walking distance to a beach, so we should account for our travel emissions to get to there. Not to say you shouldn’t visit the beach if you live far from it, but just be wise about how you get there; carpool if you’re going with a group!
Use biodegradable sunscreen
Everything you put on your body at the beach will inevitably end up in the ocean, so choose your sunscreen wisely! There are a lot of harsh chemicals in traditional sunscreens that are incredibly dangerous to marine life. So ditch those chemical filled sunscreens and aerosol sunscreens; instead, choose a safer and ocean friendly option like Reefsafe Sunscreen!
Don’t touch the marine life
If you’re lucky enough to encounter a sea turtle, dolphin, or any other beautiful creature in the ocean, make sure you’re only enjoying it with your eyes. Remember this is their home, not ours. Touching these animals disrupts them in their natural habitat and can provoke dangerous reactions.
Pack a waste free lunch
Unfortunately not all beaches have many garbages cans lying around, due to them being an eyesore to guests. The closest one may be too far for lazy beach goers who don’t feel like moving from their perfect tanning spot. To avoid this garbage dilemma all together, bring your own lunch and pack it in reusable containers. Not only will you be saving money buy not having to purchase expensive snacks near the beach, but you’ll be doing your part to make sure waste doesn’t end up in our oceans.
Don’t walk on sand dunes
Sand dunes are important to prevent beach erosion and in many places, literally hold the coast together. Walking on them ruins their purpose.
Leave only footprints
Be sure that you leave the beach with everything that you came with; don’t leave anything behind. Any sort of foreign object, whether its a waste product or otherwise can still be harmful if it ends up in our oceans.
Go above and beyond: participate in beach cleanups
If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, or simply want to get more involved in local conservation efforts during your travels, join a local beach clean up project. These efforts may seem so minuscule, but they really add up and have a huge effect on the appearance of the beach and prevent leftover garbage from sneaking its way into our oceans.
If you can’t find a local beach clean up, find out how to organize one yourself HERE.
One Ocean Diving, the incredible company whom I had the pleasure of free diving alongside sharks with, frequently hosts beach clean ups on the island of Oahu. If you’re located in Hawaii, keep an eye on their Instagram page for information on their next clean up.
For more sustainable travel tips check out THIS POST.