Six Sustainable Tips for Every Beach Lover
Courtesy of Way to Waste
The sun is shining! The beach is clean – or is it? That greasy residue floating on the water from your favourite sunscreen is choc full of some pretty toxic stuff to our oceans. And those ice-cream wrappers and plastic drinking straws might be put in the bin, but where do the bin contents end up? Here are our top tips for keeping the fishies happy and reducing your footprint at the beach:
1. Let’s start with the big one. Don’t buy single-use plastic water bottles. We are so lucky in Australia to have perfectly good drinking water, so get yourself a reusable drink bottle which you can top-up for free from the tap or a filtered water bottle filling stations located around the Noosa council area. I love the stainless-steel insulated ones which have the added bonus of keeping your water cold all day while in the sun on the beach. Thank me later.
2. Pack your own food to avoid buying shocking disposable takeaway packaging such as styrofoam and plastic straws. Wrap your vegemite sandwich in a reusable beeswax wrap. And your grapes? Perhaps pop in that idle lunch container. It may mean a bit of extra planning, but is it worth it? Heck yes.
3. Sunscreens contain some very unpronounceable ingredients, but it’s the oxybenzone and octinoxate which contribute to coral bleaching and poisoning our marine life. Get yourself a good reef-safe and cruelty free sunscreen, such as Australian brands Blue Lizard and Wotnot which are mineral and zinc oxide based. This goes for everything you put on your body before entering the water (think hair products, lip balms etc.). Remember, the poor fishies don’t have a choice – you do!
4. Take your quest in sustainability a step further and purchase sustainable beachwear. Most swimwear is made of polyester and nylon, both of which are heavily reliant on petroleum and fossil fuels to produce – not to mention the harmful dyes used to make those bright summery colours. Instead, look for brands that opt for more sustainable solutions, like swimwear fabrics manufactured from recycled products such as plastic bottles or discarded fishing nets rescued from the sea. Microfibres are shed from towels every time they are used which contribute microplastics in our oceans, so opt for natural fibres where possible.
5. Travel light! And by this I mean take public transport or even walk to the beach if you can. You’ll save on petrol, avoid the chaos of finding a park and there’s the added bonus of that warm and tingly feeling you get when you do something good for environment. If you’ve just flown in for a short time to enjoy the Noosa goodness, make sure to tick that little box when booking and offset the carbon emissions form your flight (usually costs less than $2)
6. And finally, take 3 for the sea! This is an easy one. Just take 3 pieces of rubbish with you as you leave and you have helped to make a difference.