How to Practice Sustainability at the Beach | Olika Skip to content

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August 30, 2022 4 min read

August 31st is National Beach Day and that means a beach holiday may be a part of your plans over the upcoming holiday weekend. Did you know that in the US, over 50% of adults plan to travel for the Labor Day holiday this year? With so many people flocking to coastal locations each summer, the impact from the influx of people is undeniable and there will likely be an uptick in beach pollution but there are easy steps we can take to reduce our impact on the environment.

Why sustainability is important

Who doesn’t love the beach? If the joy that beaches bring us wasn’t enough of a reason to protect them, beaches also fill many practical roles in our lives. Beaches are a key part of the economy for many coastal towns, relying heavily on people being able to visit them during the warmer months. For locals, the geography and landscape of the beaches also serve as protection from oncoming storms by absorbing the impact of natural events. Not only is it in the best interest of our planet to strive for cleaner beaches, but these choices positively impact our communities, economies, and day-to-day lives.

Made OLIKA Clean is our commitment to creating safe products that work, being uber-transparency, sustainable, and driving conscious impact; and that includes highlighting environmental issues and ways we can help to positively impact these places.

When you’re at the beach this weekend, think about how you can leave your beach cleaner than when you arrived. Can you pick up some trash before you leave? How can you avoid single use plastic in your beach bag? Even as an individual, you can play a critical role in helping to clean up and preserve our beaches. 

Here are some easy ways to start positively impacting our beaches on your next trip:

Reef-safe sunscreen 

Sunscreen isn’t something you should sacrifice, especially when going to the beach. However, there are some key ingredients you should look to avoid when buying sunscreen in order to keep harmful chemicals out of the ocean.Petrolatum is a mineral oil that does not biodegrade quickly and remains in the water, causing damage to aquatic life. Titanium Dioxide is another ingredient that does not biodegrade well, but has been found to form hydrogen peroxide when it reacts with the water, leaving another harmful chemical behind. The last two ingredients to look out for, oxybenzone and octinoxate, are both known to bleach coral, leaving it more susceptible to death. As the wellness industry is progressing, there are many different options for reef-safe sunscreen, but some good sustainable brands are ThinksportAll Goodand MDSolarSciences.   

Resist overfishing practices 

Overfishing in the seafood industry negatively impacts beaches by lowering the amount of fish in the ocean, and in turn affecting reproduction rates. Eating seafood isn’t something you need to stop doing, but you should try to pay attention to how sustainably sourced your seafood is. Unfortunately, this is something that is not readily available on seafood packaging so you will need to invest some time in understanding sustainable seafood sourcing practices. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a resource—Seafood Watch– which can be used to evaluate your seafood purchases. You can also look for seafood that is marked with labels from the Marine Stewardship Council or Friends of the Sea. These labels mean that the products have been evaluated against a sustainability standard and undergone a certification process. 

Pack your beach bag wisely 

Beyond the lifestyle changes you can make, a really simple way that you can help to prevent the destruction of our beaches is by evaluating what you pack in your beach bag. Pack snacks in reusable containers, rather than plastic bags and plastic wrap. If any of this debris flies away into the water, it can cause serious harm, and even kill, some sea creatures that unknowingly eat plastic they find floating in the water. Instead of packing wet wipes or other cleaning materials, clip an OLIKA hand sanitizer on your beach bag to clean-up before you eat your snacks. OLIKA ultra-hydrating hand sanitizers are refillable as well, so you aren’t creating additional waste to end up in the ocean. 

Switch up your cleaning products  

We often think about what cleaning products are non-toxic for ourselves, but it is important to remember that these chemicals and cleaning products also end up in the water runoff that can pollute the ocean. Making more conscious choices about what cleaning products you are using can help prevent this. You want to look for all-natural, non-toxic products you can refer to the Environmental Protection Agency’s database of safe products for both humans and the environment. There are also many options for making your own cleaning products using household products like vinegar, essential oils, or baking soda. OLIKA’s hand sanitizers, which are non-toxic and made from eco-friendly ingredients, also double as a disinfectant spray. You can keep these around the house to clean off surfaces or clip them onto your bag for on-the-go (but ocean-safe) cleaning.  

As you consider changes you can make to protect the ocean, many of these shifts don’t just benefit the beaches, but the environment at large. If you are making sustainable shifts in your life, it is likely that they are also having positive impacts on your community as well. Small choices, like opting for a refillable hand sanitizer like OLIKA, or purchasing sustainable finds on your next grocery trip can have large impacts over time. Be sure to tag us over @olikalife in all your sustainable activities and finds!


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