The Philippines is home to 22,484 square kilometers or 32 percent of the total area of the Great Coral Triangle. However, 60 percent of our natural underwater treasure is at risk of damage and total collapse due to human activity.
Unknown to many, seemingly harmless synthetic sunscreens and microbeads in personal care products are actually polluting our marine ecosystem.
Eco-friendly personal care brand Human Nature believes that small caring acts can make a world of difference. In celebration of the Month of the Ocean this May, the brand shares some ways we can do to help save the seas even when we’re off the beach.
Sea-saving tip 1: Don’t use synthetic sunscreens
According to a recent study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are found in most over the counter sunscreens, kill corals and causes DNA damage in larval and adult corals.
Some tourist destinations are now banning sunblock for these reasons. Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, for instance, is supporting a ban on the use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate on their island to help keep corals healthy.
Most commercial sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone. This ingredient has also been linked to photoallergic reactions in humans.
Human Nature offers a solution that can protect skin from damaging UV rays and at the same time help save marine life with SafeProtect SPF 30 Sunscreen.
Powered by natural actives like zinc oxide, coconut oil, and sunflower oil, this broad spectrum sunscreen effectively protects the skin from skin-aging UVA rays (rated PA++++) and blocks up to 97 percent of skin-burning UVB rays with SPF 30. Unlike synthetic sunscreens that contain parabens and oxybenzone that can harm aquatic life and also pose health risks to humans, SafeProtect SPF 30 Sunscreen uses an all-natural and biodegradable formulation that is reef-friendly.
Sea-saving tip 2: Say no to nanoparticles
Nanoparticles are used in cosmetics and other personal care products to help other ingredients penetrate the skin, even out pigments, and make powders feel silkier and sunscreen less greasy.
Nanoparticles are too small to be filtered out by water treatment facilities. When they enter bodies of water, they could potentially damage the cell membranes of microorganisms that are essential in aquatic ecosystems.
It’s best to refrain from wearing makeup and applying products found to have nanoparticles.
Sea-saving tip 3: Don’t abuse single use
Avoid single use plastics like cutlery, bottles, bags, and straws by bringing your own lunch kit and tumbler when you travel. You can also choose to forgo fast food restaurants that use plastic spoons and forks to reduce your waste; try local eateries instead.
On the off chance that single use plastics can’t be ditched, try upcycling them or bringing them to recycling centers. You can also drop off used Human Nature bottles at select branches in Metro Manila. The bottles will used by Museo Pambata for their community-based recycling program. Visit the Human Nature Facebook page for more details.
You can also make eco-bricks out of plastic bottles, bags, and foil packets. Get in touch with The Plastic Solution via email@example.com to learn more.
These three are just some of the many ways any individual can do to help save our seas.