Think twice before you slap on that sunscreen.
Nothing puts a damper on a fun and relaxed beach day more than the danger of the hot sun and UV rays. We've all heard about the dangers of the sun.
The most popular solution? Lather (or spray) on a layer of broad spectrum ultra-waterproof sunscreen and press resume on the summer fun.
Hold up, it's not that simple. Many of those easy-on broad spectrum sunscreens come with a price more than what you paid at the drugstore before you set out to snag your spot in the sand. Did you know that there are thousands of tons of sunscreen (possibly up to 14,000 tons) of sunscreen in the world's oceans? Even worse, there are tons of thousands of chemicals from personal care products wading around in the seas.
Synthetic preservatives and chemical fragrances nearly always added to these sunscreens are simply toxic to marine life.
Have you heard about the coral reefs? Chemicals common to sunscreens like oxybenzone and octinoxate disrupt DNA and the reproductive systems of corals and are contributing to the bleaching of their color.
I need not go on about the problem. You can read more about how all sorts of marine life are affected by our propensity for a quick and easy solution to sun safety.
Here are some notes on keeping safe in the sun while having sustainability in mind this summer:
Look for reef safe sun protection.
As far as sunscreens go, there are plenty on the market now without chemical preservatives and fragrances. Badger and Derma-E make their products with non-nano zinc oxide which has not been known to cause the same harm that typical sunscreens have.
There's always UPF-rated clothing for when you're on land and rash guards with sun protection when you're in the water or if you're less keen on the reapplication schedule (which you should be following anyway, regardless of what type of sunscreen you use) for the fear it cramps your style.
Sun safety is sexy, and sustainability is just plain smart.
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