In order to help keep our oceans and marine life sustainable, we need to keep our beaches clean. Beaches are home to many creatures, including sea lions and sea turtles that depend on both land and sea to survive. Even sea creatures that live solely in the water are affected by polluted beaches when trash that accumulates on the beach is washed out with the tides. In addition to plastic and paper trash, chemical and human wastes on the beach also wash out to sea.
Plastic pollution impacts virtually every living organism in, or thriving off of, the oceans of our world.1 Sea turtles, sea lions, sea birds, fish, whales and dolphins are creatures that often are found dead with huge amounts of plastic debris in their bellies, digestive tracts, fins and other internal organs.
Every person who visits any beach in any part of the world can help keep our beaches and oceans clean. We each can commit to making a difference and educating our children, so they can practice green behaviors from an early age. If you haven’t already started, this summer is a great time to take action:
- “Take 3 for the Sea” is an organization that teaches people to take three pieces of trash with you when you leave the beach or any waterway. By doing so, you will have made a difference. Participation in this program has burgeoned to 129 countries with 300,000 people educated in helping to make plastic pollution a thing of the past.2
- Don’t drink bottled water. More than one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute around the world. 3 They require large amounts of energy and water to produce, then end up clogging landfills.
- Use re-usable alternatives to plastic bottles. You can buy re-usable water bottles everywhere, but you can only purchase the PiMag® Sport Bottle with the nano-technology filter system at Nikken. At home, you can make a difference by drinking filtered water from a PiMag Waterfall®—good for Active Wellness as well as minimizing your personal carbon footprint.
- Use re-usable tote bags and containers. Avoid buying food and other items wrapped in plastic. For example, when buying fresh food, buy whole fruit and vegetables instead of pre-cut, prepackaged versions wrapped in plastic. Shop at bulk food bins and bring your own containers. Carry out with your own totes.
- Decrease chemical usage as much as possible. Pesticides, fertilizers and weed killers are harmful for our oceans—the closer you live to the sea, the more likely those chemicals will end up there. About 245,000 square kilometers (about the size of the UK) are known as “dead zones” where marine life cannot survive, due to chemical poisons in the eco-system.
- Opt for mineral sunscreens or non-nano zinc oxide as the primary active ingredient. Chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that are commonly found in popular sunscreens are not eco-friendly. Once these chemicals make their way off beach bodies into the ocean, they can damage coral DNA. Sunscreens without these damaging chemicals are called “reef-safe.” 5
- Be careful what you flush down the toilet. Medicines have been detected in ground water and marine life. For example, 4500 wet wipes were found in a 154 square-meter portion of the Thames river in 2017, an example of what doesn’t break down in the flushing process. 6
Share your knowledge of eco-friendly habits with friends and family. The more people who commit to making a difference, the better chance we have of maintaining the lives of our beaches and oceans.