I have experienced the confluence of my lifestyle goals (trying to work towards a plastic-free life) has taken on new meaning in the past month.
I started diving and fell in love with the ocean.
To augment my obsession, Blue Planet II was released, and I have spent hours transfixed by the astonishing and amazing diversity that exists in the oceans, that we know so little about.
In the face of the giant wave of plastics, what can we do?
How easily men could make things much better than they are if only all tried together!
There have been a number of impactful films lately (like Plastic Ocean). However, I think most of us know that the massive amount of plastics we toss away can’t be good. I don’t think it is much of a leap for us to understand that our consumption decision have long-term impacts on the world.
I am of the opinion that it is much easier to take action to protect the things we love. So think about your favourite outdoor places and how you might be able to protect them by choosing a little more carefully.
I think this is part of the power of the Blue Earth (and other Planet Earth) movies – they show us some of the marvelous wonders that not everyone has the opportunity to see or experience themselves.
Coral safe sunscreen
As a super burnable person, I was distressed to learn that the sun screen I was liberally applying to my flesh could have a damaging impact on the corals I was diving/snorkling to see.
I have invested in a long-sleeve bathing suit, which has done wonders for my skin! No more out-of-reach spots on my back that get tomato red in the sun.
But I did end up getting a pretty bad lower leg, below the wetsuit burn during one of my snorkling days, which has invigorated my search for marine-safe sunscreens that can protect my skin without killing coral.
Green People: Green People is a UK based company which has a line of natural sunscreens and they work alongside the Marine Conservation Society, to highlight the impact of sunscreen on marine environments. They also have a spf day cream moisturizer that is on my list of things to consider once I have used up my current products.
Apparently Badger sunscreens are also coral safe.
I am happy to see that companies are making products that are eco-consious in terms of the ingredients, but they are all still being sold in PLASTIC TUBES!
However, the leading contender in my books currently is this sunscreen from Raw Elements may be a good option AND they sell it in a PLASTIC-FREE TIN! It is a US company, and it seems like shipping is hella expensive, but it may be available on Amazon.
Clean it up
I don’t get to spend as much time in the water these days, as I am now back in the autumnal UK, but I have started making a habit of “taking 3” pieces of trash from the park to a garbage bin or home to recycle when I am out for my training runs. /. Project Aware also has a “Dive against Debris” campaign.
Go topless (and reduce use of syrofoam)
5 Gyres has some great information about polystyrenes including some catchy ideas on how we might reduce the use of polystyrene in our life. I have started carrying a keep cup for my occasional take-away coffee, but other simple things to do, if you have forgot your reusable. If you are not in a rush, have the coffee to drink in and eliminate the need for a take away cup. If you are in a rush, maybe just go topless.
Straws. Honestly. We can just skip the straws.