Written by: Vanessa Cardy

It’s summertime, and that means trips to the beach! The main reason people go the beach is to swim in the water, but it’s not as clean as you may think. Pollution and poor water quality account for thousands of beach advisories and closings each year. Throwing away our trash is a vital component in protecting our beaches, as pollution continues to pose a serious threat to the ocean’s ecosystem. It is possible to be eco-friendly and still have fun in the sun! Read how below.

  1. Carpool to the beach – Take along a group of people next time you go, it will help reduce your CO2 footprint. If you can, make use of your local transportation and take the bus or railway!
  1. Pack waste-free snacks and lunches – Bring your food and drinks in reusable containers and water bottles, as it is the best way to keep trash off the beach and out of the water. If you do have trash, make sure to dispose of it properly.
  1. Use organic sunscreen –What you put on your skin or in your hair will ultimately end up in the water, so buy sunscreen that contains safer, less toxic ingredients. You can even make your own sunscreen at home. Many DIY sunscreen projects include only a few ingredients, such as beeswax, Shea butter, and coconut or tree tea oil.
  1. Buy local foods – Buying locally grown fruits and vegetables at the marketplace will support the surrounding economy and cut down on resources for transportation.
  1. Keep off the dunes and beach grass – Sand dunes are the first line of defense against beach erosion from strong storms and waves. Plus, dunes provide niches for specialized plants and animals, including many rare and endangered species. Beach grass is also a key factor in stopping beach erosion. Watch where you’re walking!
  1. Don’t leave any tracks behind – If you go the beach with toys, make sure to take them with you when you leave. If you see someone else leave something behind, take responsibility and dispose of it yourself.

Whether you’re at the beach with friends or family, it’s important to follow these tips and take care in protecting your local beach.

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