By Christina Nunez via National Geographic
Enjoying the outdoors shouldn’t imperil the Earth. Give Mother Nature a summer break with easy-on-the-environment ideas.
1. SMART SUNGLASSES
Made into shades
It’s estimated that discarded fishing gear accounts for more than half the total weight of plastics floating in the ocean. Search online for “recycled sunglasses” and you’ll find several options made from recovered ocean debris, including “ghost” fishing nets that were lost or abandoned.
2. REEF-SAFE SCREEN
Block out toxins
Protect your skin and marine life at the same time. Avoid sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. When they end up in water, they can harm corals and other ocean dwellers. More ideas: Seek shade—and find additional guidance at oceanservice.noaa.gov/sunscreen.
3. EATING OUT(DOORS)
Dishware from plants
Whether it’s an afternoon in the park or a patio party, avoid single-use items, which account for half of all plastic produced. If you do opt for disposable products, consider those made from palm leaves or fast-growing bamboo, and reuse them a few times when possible. A keyword search for “plant-based dishware” yields options for most needs and budgets.
4. AT THE BEACH
Solutions to the tide of plastic waste on shorelines might lie within ocean organisms. Surfers, scientists, and designers are trying out algae instead of fossil fuels to make outdoor gear such as surfboards and flip-flops. No matter what you take to the beach, make sure it heads home with you.
PHOTO: REBECCA HALE, NGM STAFF