It’s that time of the year again when you prepare your swimwear, hit the beach and cool off. The heat has been unforgiving, and you definitely deserve a good soak and the chill ocean vibes.
But as we all know by now, beaches and local communities can be vulnerable to irresponsible tourism. Pack up these tips with you to reduce your environmental footprint while you go beach-hopping this summer.
1. Pick a Less Crowded Destination
Beaches can only take so much foot traffic and noise. One way to help our natural treasures recover is to leave them be for a while. Encourage your friends to go to a lesser known beach, so you’re not contributing any more damage to already vulnerable beaches. But of course, no matter how isolated the beach is, that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want there.
2. Clean After Yourself
Respect our beaches by keeping them clean. Whether you’re camping out or renting a cottage, make sure you bring trash bags with you. Ask the resort owner or caretaker where you can properly dispose of your trash and if you have extra time, help out the locals by picking up pieces of garbage you can find. Bonfires are okay, but ask the locals to help you set one up. To reduce waste, bring reusable and recyclable items with you, such as water tumblers and eco bags. If you’re going to prepare food there, avoid using paper plates and plastic utensils.
3. Hold Your Liquor
4. Use Eco-friendly Sunscreen
Conventional sunscreens, including waterproof makeup, are laced with chemicals that can harm coral reefs and aquatic wildlife. Keep our waters safe and clean by using eco-friendly sunscreen. There’s a variety of biodegradable sunblock available today that don’t have toxic ingredients, but can effectively protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
5. Be Mindful of the Environment
Stop using nature as a prop to decorate your social media feed. In other words, leave that starfish alone, stop feeding fish bread, don’t swim too close to whale sharks, and don’t set a mountain on fire! As an educated adult in the 21st Century, you should already know by now that nature is meant to be appreciated from a safe distance so that future generations can have a chance to see its beauty. Don’t disrupt that beautiful, delicate balance by using it for selfish reasons.
Whether it’s a day trip or week-long holiday, keep in mind that your actions can significantly affect the environment. Don’t be afraid to call out your friends, family, and fellow beachgoers if they’re being reckless.
We’re lucky to have hundreds of stunning beaches, and it’s unfortunate that many of them are being destroyed at a faster rate. But it’s never too late to re-assess our habits and become responsible beach-goers. So, if you have trips lined up for the summer, always bring these tips with you.