Sustainability Tip of the Week: Clean Sunscreen

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Have you ever heard of biodegradable sunscreen? A study conducted by the science journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows that our chemical sunscreens promote coral reef bleaching. According to the study, sunscreens can enhance viral infection of coral reefs. Because of this, some beaches with large coral reef populations have already banned the use of chemical sunscreens and only allow tourists to wear biodegradable sunscreens. Biodegradable sunscreens are made with natural ingredients that water can break down without harming any aquatic organisms. Their active ingredients are zinc and titanium, which many already believe to be much more effective than their chemical counterparts. If you’re an avid beach goer, biodegradable sunscreen will be better for you and the environment, even if you’re not at a beach that bans chemical sunscreen. Some brands of biodegradable sunscreen include Reef Safe, Caribbean Solutions and Mexitan Tropical Sands. Another easy way to protect aquatic organisms is to avoid wearing any personal care products that aren’t biodegradable when you’re at the beach. Makeup, deodorant, lotions and creams can all wash off your skin into the water, leaving the ocean with an icky mess.

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