As the days get longer and the mercury rises, beaches will flood with people looking to enjoy a relaxing day in the sun. If you’re one of those lucky people, be a conscious beachgoer this summer and pack your bags with these ocean-friendly beach essentials.
The fashion industry unfortunately takes a toll on our environment. When shopping for a new bathing suit, hat, or sunglasses, choose a brand that is working to lessen its impact on the environment. Norton Point is a Martha’s Vineyard-based company that manufactures sunglasses and board shorts made with ocean plastic, while Bureo sells sunglasses and other goods made from old fishing nets. And with studies showing that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, choosing brands like these are more important than ever before.
When you try to do the right thing and slather on sunscreen during a day at the beach, you may be protecting your skin but unknowingly harming life beneath the waves. A 2015 study found that 14,000 tons of sunscreen enter coral reefs around the world each year. Many brands of sunscreen contain oxybenzone which bleaches coral reefs and slows their growth. And with 27 percent of reefs already damaged beyond repair due to climate change, overfishing, pollution, and other threats, we need to take immediate action to protect these fragile ecosystems.
Reusable Picnic Gear
There are few things better than enjoying a meal at the beach while surrounded by friends and family. But, all it takes is a gust of wind to sweep your wrappers, bags, and other trash into the ocean, potentially harming nearby wildlife.
Instead of packing single-use utensils, cups, and plates, invest in reusable or compostable varieties. And, be sure to #skipthestraw this summer: 500 million plastic straws are used in the US every day and are notoriously harmful to marine wildlife. And, be sure to pack a bag to clean up all of your trash.
When grocery shopping for a trip to the beach, choose ocean-friendly options. Modern agricultural practices harm the ocean when toxic chemicals and pesticides make their way into the ocean. Choosing organic fruits, vegetables, and prevent these chemicals from polluting the ocean. And, by buying produce that is sourced locally and in-season, you’re reducing the carbon footprint of your meal.
If you’re a seafood lover, make sure you support sustainable practices by using the Seafood Watch app and buying local, sustainably-caught options.
Even if you only make it to the beach once a summer, wearing a Cape Clasp bracelet is a daily reminder of the ocean and our need to protect it. And, 15 percent of profits from each design are donated directly to nonprofit organizations that are protecting marine ecosystems and their inhabitants across the globe.
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