Have you noticed the current condition of your local beach recently? Ever since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, all beach clean-ups in our community were canceled and have yet to announce activity again. If you follow us on Instagram, then you might have seen that we did a mini beach clean-up and were completely shocked at the condition of the local beach. There was litter everywhere and our bag was full within 45 minutes. Unfortunately, there have been many reports of litter on beaches all over the state. It is extremely disappointing that we allow this to happen and it made me realize that we all need to be more mindful at the beach. Here are some mindful tips that can help us all be more ocean friendly this summer and truly make a difference!
1. Be mindful of plastic
Some of the most common items we find during clean-ups are water bottles, straws, utensils, food wrappers, and face masks. These items are made from plastic, which is already consuming our oceans and posing threat to all sea life. Plastic is frequently mistaken as food and has been found in the stomach of far too many innocent souls. We challenge you to leave your plastic at home this summer and consider more ocean friendly options, such as reusable water bottles and masks.
2. Be mindful of sunscreen
Were you aware that many sunscreen are actually harmful to the ocean? Some contain toxic ingredients that contribute to the eroding of coral and leave a nasty film in the ocean. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are two ingredients believed to bleach coral and have even been banned in places such as Hawaii and the Virgin Islands. We recommend looking for sunscreen labels that say reef friendly or have biodegradable ingredients, which cause minimal damage to the ocean.
3. Be mindful of litter
It is easy to judge those who litter the beach, but what are you actually doing to solve the issue? We came across a concept, created by Carolina Sevilla, that we absolutely love and participate in. It is called the #5minutebeachcleanup and it can easily be done at any beach, any time of the day! All you will need is a reusable bag and to let your ego go. After packing up to leave the beach, take 5 minutes to gather any trash you can see...and that’s it! Could you imagine the difference we could make if every single person at the beach started doing this? Plus, it just feels good to do good. Give it a try!
4. Be mindful of sea life
If you go to the beach as much as we do, then chances are you’ve experienced some pretty incredible moments with sea life. After living in Hawaii, I learned that many places have strict rules in place to protect their sea life from the destruction of humans. Even if you think you are not hurting animals, they still need to be observed and respected from a distance. It is our responsibility to live in harmony with animals and we need to respect their homes and space.
Also, did you know there are hotlines you can call if you experience stranded sea life? Unless you are specifically trained medically and familiar with the animals, please do not try and intervene. Find a lifeguard on duty or contact this hotline and the proper personnel will be notified of the scene.
5. Be mindful of swimwear
Did you know you can support a clean ocean through your swimwear purchase? At Moonstone Swim, we have made the decision to use an innovative product called ECONYL in all of our swimwear. ECONYL is a polymer made from regenerated ocean and landfill waste. They work with divers to gather items like ghost fishing nets, which would otherwise pose a threat to sea life. Millions of innocent animal lives are lost after being trapped, suffocated, or otherwise harmed by synthetic ocean plastics like fishing nets. These nets can be turned into a recycled polymer, which can be used to replace fabric in endless projects. Check out our first swimwear collection, which we named Revival to represent the amazing transformation of this ocean waste. As long as people continue to support brands using these materials, we can continue supporting the removal and re-purposing of this waste!
Finally, it needs to be mentioned that there is no judgement against anyone who doesn’t follow all of these steps. There are many unavoidable constraints, such as time and budget, that limit us in making the most eco-friendly decisions. But what we can do is make the choice to always be more mindful! Once you become mindful of the world around you, you’ll begin to recognize endless ways to make a positive impact on the planet. So try giving 1, if not all, of our tips a try this summer and inspire others to do so as well. Together, we can create a better environment for marine life!