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The Eco-Friendly Tourist

Posted on May 01, 2018 in Eco-Friendly , May-June 2018 , Protect and Preserver , Emerald Coast

Reusable drinking straws

As the saying goes, ‘If you’re lucky enough to be at the beach, you’re lucky enough.’ So if this newspaper has found its way into your hands, luck is on your side. And you’re fortunate enough to be able to feel the sand of the Emerald Coast between your toes, float in the salty turquoise water and breathe the balmy air that can only be found at the beach. Just as the song says, “This land is your land, this land is my land,” it is our community’s shared mission to preserve the beach together. And that can start right now with you. How can you make sure your beach vacation makes a positive difference?

Reduce the Impact

Just a few years ago, Americans were generating 254 million tons of trash per year, and much of that can be avoided. While on vacation, think of creative ways to reduce the amount of trash your family produces. Instead of paper or plastic food, store leftovers or tote picnic items in reusable containers, and use aluminum or BPA-free plastic water bottles for carrying drinking water. Raw & Juicy Life carries a wide assortment of reusable bottles made by Corkcicle, making it easy to be responsible and stylish with your beverage. Even something as simple as a reusable drinking straw can make a difference, which Raw & Juicy Life also carries. Bring your own cloth shopping totes when picking up groceries from Modica Market. And make time for a sit-down meal with family or friends to altogether avoid trash from takeout meals.

Park the Car

One of the most wonderful things about Seaside is that when you arrive and park the car, you can spend your entire vacation without ever having to get behind the wheel until check-out day. Strolling and bicycling are more than encouraged, and why not? It’s the perfect time to slow down and really enjoy each moment. And that can best be accomplished by picking up a bicycle or a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Seaside Transit Authority can provide the bicycle. And many shops in Seaside offer casual, comfy shoes. Want to go the extra mile in eco-friendliness and sustainability? Pick up a pair of Tom’s shoes, available at Cabana. Not only are you cutting down on carbon emissions by walking instead of driving, but you’re also giving back with Tom’s One for One model, which donates a pair of shoes for every pair purchased.

Corkcicle aluminum water cups

Choose Ocean-Friendly Skincare Products

Yes, it’s important to wear sunscreen at the beach, but did you know that some types of sun prevention care can cause damage to coral reefs and other marine life? Check the ingredients; if your sunscreen includes oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate or 4-methylbenzylidine camphor, you’re harming ocean life every time you take a dip. Luckily, there are other options that take a more natural approach to burn prevention, using instead ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Look for these words on the label to assure the absolute best in eco-friendliness: biodegradable, vegan, cruelty free, and reef safe, like the Absolutely Natural Skincare line carried at Ono Surf Shop.

Leave Only Footprints

More than five trillion pieces of plastic debris are currently floating in the ocean, and some of that is the result of carelessness on the beach. When packing your beach bag, leave paper and plastic goods behind, or at least plan ahead by bringing your own trash bag to collect waste and dispose properly. Glass on the beach isn’t allowed, and even many plastic trash items can be harmful to marine life. Also, beach toys and accessories should be completely removed at the end of the day to protect the beach’s animal inhabitants as well as preserve the beauty of the shore for all to enjoy.

The beaches here are beautiful, and every moment spent here should be considered lucky. But as you enjoy your vacation, remember that it is up to you to ensure future generations be given that same lucky chance to experience the beauty of the beaches as they should be: clean, healthy, and still holding that same magical charm that brings you back here each and every year.