Green Tips: Beach Days

Green Tips | July 2, 2019

Nothing is better than a beach day during the hot summer months. Though beaches are great spaces for recreation and relaxation, don’t forget how important oceans are. From their impact on climate to the habitat they provide and the food resources they contain, oceans are truly one of the most important aspects of our planet. This summer, give back to the ocean and its beaches by being environmentally mindful in your beach-going habits.

Bring your own picnic: Instead of picking up food from a nearby restaurant or food stand this summer, try packing your own picnic for some eco-friendly family fun. By picnicking, you can ensure that everyone will have something they like, cut down on food costs, and reduce your plastic waste. Try packing finger foods to avoid having to bring plates and utensils and make sure to choose foods that won’t spoil in the heat. Check out some meal ideas here.

Leave nothing behind: This one may seem obvious, but it is crucial to keep trash and litter off of the beach. There are currently more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, perpetuated in large part by careless beach habits. By taking out everything you bring in and packing reusable containers when possible, you can do your part to keep local beaches clean and protect local wildlife. If you see somebody else litter, pick it up or kindly remind them where they can dispose of it properly.

You can even plan a special outing to keep beaches clean. Organize your own clean-up effort or join a local community clean up event to help preserve our beautiful beach ecosystems.

Choose chemical-free sunscreen: Sunscreen is a vital beach day item and can help protect you against harmful UV rays and skin cancer.  Make sure to choose a sunscreen that will protect both you and the environment. Many common sunscreen brands contain oxybenzone, a chemical that leaves residue in oceans and contributes to the destruction of coral reefs. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide for more information.

Collect seaweed for your compost: Did you know that seaweed is the perfect ingredient for your garden compost? Ordinary seaweed that can be found washed up on beaches helps improve soil consistency and water retention, especially in thin or grainy soils. Be sure to consult local beach rules before taking seaweed and to give it a quick rinse to get rid of excess salt before adding it to your compost.

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