Save Your Skin, Save Our Waters

Destin is known for our beautiful white sand beaches and stunning turquoise waters, but did you know that by simply going out to enjoy them that you might be aiding in their destruction? Now, we all know that is not the intention when we set out for a day of surf and sun. There are little things that we can all do that will make a large impact in keeping out beaches beautiful. We are here to show you how to enjoy your beach day but also makes it safe for sea life.

For years now, we have been taught the importance of applying sunscreen and the damage that UVA and UVB rays cause to our skin. A few years back the talk in the beauty and health industry was about the differences between chemical and physical sunscreen. To simplify this just a bit, chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s rays while physical sunscreens deflect or block the rays. Now, let’s take this a step further. Some of the ingredients contained in sunscreens, oxybenzone, octinoxate, and nano- titanium dioxide, are actually damaging the coral reefs and sea life. Here is a scary statistic- according to the US National Park Service, somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters coral reef areas around the world every year. So, we now need to look beyond physical and chemical sunscreens and make sure that we look for sunscreens that are reef safe. Destin Commons offers several stores where you can purchase reef safe sunscreen.

Innerlight Surf Shop and Maui Nix Surf Shop both carry Sun Bum which offers a reef friendly sunscreen. Just make sure you read the ingredient list before you purchase as not all the product line is reef friendly.  Another great idea is to cover up with a rash guard and both stores offer plenty of options!

Bass Pro Shops is not just for hunting. They offer some reef safe sunscreen to help protect our beautiful coral reefs. Beyond Coastal is a chemical free and Natural sunscreen you can find at Bass Pro.

Whole Foods Market is a great place to shop and get your groceries but they also sell a line called alba Botanica.  This brand carries beautiful bath and body products but they also carry a sunscreen that is chemical free with no oxybenzone or octinoxate in it. They even have fragrance free options if you are sensitive to scent.

Now that you know the importance of checking the ingredient list in your sunscreen, let’s think about the other little things we can do each day that will have an impact on our ocean. Have you ever thought about the cups and straws you bring to the beach and the impact they make to our water? The plastic breaks down in the ocean into smaller and smaller pieces that are known as microplastics, which gets ingested by sea life. Research has shown that 70% of seabirds and 30% of sea turtles have some amount of plastic in their system. We owe it to them to do better because we can and simple changes will have an immense impact.

Starbucks is our go to source for getting our caffeine fix but they have also committed to stop using disposable plastic straws by 2020. They will be moving to recyclable and strawless lids and paper straws. They also have a good amount of reusable options for you to choose from as well. Purchase a reusable cup or tumbler and you will receive a discount. In addition, Starbucks also carries silicone reusable straws.

Tervis is another option for you and your family when it comes to being eco-friendly. They too have a wide variety of sizes and designs to choose from. They even have a line out called Ocean conversation and any cup that someone buys 100% of the proceeds go towards a charity that help protect our ocean and to keep it clean.

Earthbound Trading Company and Coastal Outfitters both sell The 4ocean Bracelet. Each purchase of a bracelet will remove one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines. Now, you can look good and feel good. To learn more about 4Ocean just click here.

So, the next time you head out to the beautiful beaches that we are lucky enough to live near, just remember how your decisions make an impact on sea life. By making little changes, you are helping preserve our water for future generations to enjoy!

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