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Easy Things You Can Do to Help the Environment

You probably know by now that there are many things causing harm to the environment from human activity, but there are simple ways you can help to reduce your waste and negative footprint. In this article I will give you some ideas on how to help. This will include recommending reef safe sunscreen, reusable products, plastic free hygiene products, and some eco swimwear/wetsuit brands for summer. 

Currently, around 2.01 billion tons of solid waste is produced each year, and only an estimated 13.5 percent is recycled according to World Bank. That is A LOT of waste produced. One simple way to reduce your waste is by one of the most well known ways, using reusable water bottles, utensils, bags, etc. Online, you can find brands like Hydroflask and ThermoFlask for reusable water bottles, and you can find reusable bags/utensils on websites like Amazon and Target. Another way you can reduce plastic waste is by using plastic free shampoo, conditioner, and body soap bars. Brands like The Good Trade and Lush sell these products, and Lush sells travel friendly aluminum tins for holding these products. 


As summer is approaching, and most of us Californians will be spending most of the time in water, whether it’s the beach, a pool, river, or lake, you will most likely need a swimsuit. A simple way to do something kind for the environment is buying eco swimwear, wetsuits, and clothing. Brands such as Ripcurl, Billabong,Carve Designs , O’Neill, and Patagonia have a selection of these things made of recycled materials like fishnets and plastic bottles. One of my favorite eco conscious collections is Hello Tomorrow, by Billabong where they have their eco shop and tips on being more eco continuous. I would also recommend getting a Patagonia wetsuit if that’s what you’re looking for.  


The last way you can help reduce your negative impact on the environment, specificity coral reefs, is by using reef safe sunscreen when in the ocean. According to National Geographic, “14,000 tons of sunscreen are thought to wash into the oceans each year; 82,000 chemicals from personal-care products may be tainting the seas; about 80 percent of corals in the Caribbean have been lost in the last 50 years due to pollution, coastal development, and warming waters.”. The article explains that harmful chemicals like oxybenzone can seep into the water and be absorbed by the corals. The reason why chemicals like this are explained in the article as harmful because, “These substances contain nanoparticles that can disrupt coral’s reproduction and growth cycles, ultimately leading to bleaching.”. National Geographic recommends taking these steps pasted from the article to keep the coral reefs safe:


See what’s inside: “We recommend the use of reef-safe sunscreen free of oxybenzone,” says Peter Gash, managing director of Lady Elliot Island, near the Great Barrier Reef. Choose mineral-based sunblocks that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—“non-nano” size particles that can’t be ingested by corals. If you’re not sure whether a sunscreen has nanoparticles, consult the Consumer Products Inventory.

  • Check the list: Haereticus Environmental Lab publishes a list each year of what sunscreens are safe for the environment, and the Environmental Working Group rates products with SPF values—including some 650 sunscreens and 250 moisturizers—on their environmental impact.
  • Skip the spray: Aerosols cause much of our sunscreen to miss its mark and fall to the sand, where it can easily wash into the ocean.
  • Research the resort: Some hotels are now helping guests be more responsible. For example, Aqua-Aston properties throughout Hawaii offer free reef-friendly sunscreen in “eco kits” and via dispensers in the hotels’ public areas.
  • Put the SPF in your outfit: Wearing hats, shirts, and other apparel incorporating UV protection can reduce the amount of sunscreen you need by up to 90 percent, and these items will likely last longer than a bottle of sunscreen.
  • Take cover: Pick shady spots for games and bring an umbrella, or better yet, a beach tent to create your own shade. Some beach tents come with cool perks, such as awnings and mini pools.


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Easy Things You Can Do to Help the Environment