We’ve all been dreaming of sunny beach days, and now summer is here we’re getting ever closer to relaxing on gorgeous beaches and switching off. But with millions of tourists flocking to our seaside every year, we need to make sure we’re taking care of our coastal environment at home and abroad.
It’s estimated that tourists cause a 40% spike in plastic entering the Mediterranean Sea every summer, and we can’t carry on like this. So from your suncream to your swimsuits, it’s time to change the way we approach our holidays and beach trips.
Enter The Bandi Beach Guide.
Being surfers, paddleboarders and all-around water babies ourselves, we see a lot of the pollution and marine debris first-hand. So, we’ve rounded up our tips for the most sustainable beach visit possible, making sure our coastal environment is left better than we found it.
Not exactly what you’d expect to find on our sustainable list, but did you know that the suncream you use can have a direct effect on coral reefs? Yep. Oxybenzone is a common ingredient found in suncream and it’s not coral reef friendly. Oxybenzone harms coral reefs by:
- Increasing a coral’s susceptibility to bleaching
- Damaging coral DNA which interferes with reproduction
- Causing deformities and growth anomalies
- Disrupting a coral’s hormonal processes for growth and reproduction
But don’t panic! There are alternatives out there that will protect you and the coral. Look for suncreams marked with “Marine Safe” or “Reef Safe” (We love Sun Bum & SoSo Sunny), so you can work on your tan and protect the planet.
Of course, when it comes to your beachy ‘fits, the best thing you can do is wear what you already own. The next would be swapping your way to a new look through Bandi. If you still can’t find anything, then look for small, sustainable businesses that are doing everything they can to create eco-friendly swimwear. Brands like SoSo Swim and JUNK LDN all use fabric that’s made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled ocean waste (such as ghost nets).
When you consider the huge floating garbage patches around the world, these are definitely swimsuits you can feel good about.
Make It Reusable
By now, most people have at least a reusable water bottle or coffee cup. We love to see this progress as, according to an article in 2018, half a million coffee cups are littered every day. Then in 2019, it was reported that a third of all plastic litter found in the sea is made up of plastic bottles. We know sometimes you forget to bring the reusable ones with you. We’ve all done it. But by making the conscious effort to remember to use our reusable cups and bottles wherever possible we can have a huge impact on not only keeping our beaches clean, but preventing litter from entering the water at all. If you forget, try to choose an option that’s kinder to the environment. Eg: Glass bottles over plastic ones.
Everyone loves a BBQ. It feels like summer and there’s nothing better than cooking your food right next to the sea on a sunny evening. But before you start grilling up a feast, there are a few things you need to be mindful of. If you can, choose a reusable charcoal BBQ for a less wasteful option, but if you’ll be using a disposable one, make sure you’re disposing of it safely!
- Put it out using sand or water, and wait until it’s cool to move.
- Don’t put hot ashes or charcoal in the bin until it has cooled down completely, as this can start fires.
- If your beach has a designated BBQ bin, use it!
- Never leave your BBQ buried in the sand. This insulates it and can cause severe burns to anyone, (dogs too!) who might accidentally step on it.
- Of course, take all litter home with you.
Leave No Trace
This is what it all boils down to. Our beaches and oceans are beautiful environments that we want to keep that way, so leave no trace! Take home all your litter, the bottles, the BBQs, the food wrappers, (and food!) to leave the beach as lovely as you found it.