In March, officials closed down some of Australia’s most popular beaches as social distancing measures were enforced to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
But recently, some beaches have chosen to cautiously relax the quarantine rules, and the world famous Bondi Beach is set to reopen soon, as virus cases appear to have slowed down in the country.
While sunbathers, families and joggers are still forbidden from staying on the beach due to social distancing rules, swimmers and surfers will be allowed to exercise in the ocean.
Having the opportunity to swim in blue waters after weeks of being cooped up will be a treat, but apart from making sure to keep a safe distance from one another, it’s also essential to keep the waters clean, as the sudden surge of beachgoers may result in scattered garbage that can threaten marine life.
If you’re planning to head to the beach, look after your health by practising social distancing, and protect the ocean by following these tips.
Choose reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles
Plastic is one of the worst offenders in water pollution, and the floating islands of plastic in our seas is what encouraged Dutch inventor and entrepreneur, Boyan Slat, to start a foundation called The Ocean Cleanup.
Slat invented a device that could trap plastics in the ocean, and the device, called Wilson, is now successfully catching floating plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The nonprofit is currently looking for volunteers to spread the word about the project, but you can also do your part to save marine life.
One easy way to do that is to use reusable water bottles whenever you go to the beach.
Doing so will allow you to stay hydrated on your beach day without adding more plastic waste to the ocean.
Replace your plastic bottle with a reusable one, and consider getting one from Australian reusable bottle brands such as 321 Filter Bottle, Earth Bottles, and EcoVessel.
Use an eco-friendly sunscreen
Some sun lotions contain ingredients that can be harmful to marine life.
For instance, sunscreens that have high levels of titanium dioxide can be dangerous to sea life, as it turns into hydrogen peroxide when it mixes with warm salt water.
Meanwhile, sunscreens with octinoxate and oxybenzone can cause coral bleaching and kill very young coral reefs.
Opt to use an eco-friendly sunscreen that doesn’t contain these ingredients, such as Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen, or Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream.
These products will keep your skin protected from the harsh rays of the sun without harming sea life.
Don’t use bath products if you’re showering outdoors
After swimming or surfing, it’s important to shower right away to prevent your skin and hair from drying out.
However, if you’re showering outdoors, it’s important not to use bath products, as the chemicals in your shampoo, soap or body wash can find their way into the ocean and contaminate the water.
Rinse off by the beach with just plain water; then shower properly with bath products once you get home.
The reopening of some of Australia’s top beaches can be a blessing to those who’ve missed being outdoors.
If you’re planning to visit the beach soon, keep these tips in mind to keep the ocean clean, and don’t forget to practise social distancing measures to stay healthy.