7 Ways to Make your Beach Visit More Eco-Friendly

Photo Credit: Bob Sterfko/Getty Images

OK, so my mind is still on summer and the beach and what we can do to lessen our impact on the environment.  So often we don’t think about the consequences of our daily routines or actions and how those actions may affect our environment beyond recycling, wasting natural resources and our general health.  The “greener” I get, the more my eyes are opened and I say “WOW, I didn’t think about that”.

So back to your trip to the beach…there is the obvious like don’t leave your trash on the beach and then there are other things that require an awareness. Think about these things on your next visit to the beach.  Even though the list of 7  is directed to going to the beach, it doesn’t take much to relate it to your trip to the lake or river and doing your part to be responsible for yourself.

From The DailyGreen and Annie Bell Muzaurieta:

By Keeping These Tips in Mind, a Day at the Beach Can Be Enjoyable for You and Easy on the Ecosystem.

Walk Right In

The walkovers that exist at beaches are there for a reason. Use them to get to the beach instead of walking across sensitive dunes, which will help reduce erosion. Dunes protect land against storm waves from the sea, and harbor specialized plants and animals. However, human activity and population expansion threaten their existence.

Photo Credit: Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

(Re)Use Me

The reduce, reuse and recycle mantra is extra important at the beach. Don’t leave your things behind. How to make this process easier? Pack a picnic in a good old-fashioned basketwith reusable cutlery and cups, and cloth napkins. (Try to avoid glass, though. The EPA wisely reminds us that broken glass and bare feet don’t mix.)

If you insist on disposables, use ones made from recycled plastic, like Preserve’s line of tableware, which can be reused several times before they go into the recycling bin. And to prevent one more plastic bottle from floating out to sea, bring a reusable stainless steel thermos such as the Klean Kanteen or one from Sigg.

Photo Credit: Image Source / Getty Images

Don’t Be Trashy

Dispose of your trash properly by using public trash containers at the beach. If you’re in a remote location and garbage cans aren’t easy to find, take your trash home with you.

Trash left on the ground can be swept up by runoff and carried to the beach. And yes, the EPA says you still have to cut the rings off plastic six-pack holders so that animals such as fish, turtles or seals don’t get tangled in them. And hey, while you’re working so hard, don’t hesitate to pick up any trash left by less responsible beachgoers.

Photo Credit: VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm / Getty Images

Take Care of Business

Contrary to popular belief, the beach is not one big bathroom. Help keep beaches clean and safe by using public restrooms. Since Spot can’t do that on his own, be sure to dispose of pet waste properly.

Photo Credit: John Giustina / Getty Images

Be a Good Guest

Remember you’re a visitor; don’t disturb the wildlife and plants native to the beach — even if you think the buggers are provoking you.

Photo Credit: Bob Stefko / Getty Images

Do Your Home Work

The EPA reminds us that protecting the ocean starts at home. If you throw it out, spread it on the lawn or flush it down a drain, it could end up in the ocean.

What can you do? Maintain your septic system. Use natural substances like compost instead of harsh chemicals to fertilize gardens and lawns. Don’t throw motor oil in storm drains; recycle it at your local service shop instead.

Photo Credit: Dougal Waters / Getty Images

Act Up

Promote beach protection and take care of your local shores by joining a beach, river or stream cleanup. Check your local government Website to see what you can do in your community, or go to the Ocean Conservancy’s Website to join its International Coastal Cleanup.

Photo Credit: Lynn Seeden / Istock

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