We’re celebrating Make Holidays Greener month. This year, the theme is the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup, so we’ve come up with some top tips for looking after the beach while on holiday…
It’s Make Holidays Greener month, hooray! Not familiar with it? It’s the Travel Foundation’s way of celebrating sustainable tourism. There’s a different theme each year – and this time the focus is on beaches. Read on to find out how you can get in on the eco-action…
1. Snorkel safely
Coral reefs might look sturdy, but they’re actually one of the most fragile eco-systems around. A ‘look, don’t touch’ policy is best when snorkelling around them. That goes for the sea life, too – no matter how tempting it is to stroke starfish and turtles, they’re happiest when left to their own devices.
2. Wear the right suncream
Suncream can be bad for the environment. In fact, certain ingredients can seriously damage sea life and reefs, so watch out for danger words such as oxybenzone, butylparaben and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor. They just trip off the tongue, don’t they?
3. Beware animal souvenirs
Shell jewellery and coral paperweights might look pretty when lined up on a souvenir stall, but it’s difficult to know where they’ve come from. There’s a good chance they’ve been nabbed straight from the sea, where they belong. Instead, keep an eye out for ethically-sourced handicrafts. Anything with a Fairtrade stamp is a winner, too.
That’s bring your own bags. Carrier bags are the bane of all beaches, so try to chuck your belongings into reusable bags when heading to the coast. You’re much less likely to accidentally leave them behind. Bringing your own water bottles to reuse is a good idea, too. In most European countries, tap water is your friend, plus it’s cheaper than forking out for water bottle bumper packs.
5. Join the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup
The Big Holiday Beach Cleanup does exactly what it says on the tin. This year, First Choice staff from around the globe are getting hands-on and tidying up their nearest and dearest beaches. If you’re off on holiday this month, ask your Holiday Advisor if your resort is taking part. Alternatively, check out this list of UK beach clean events.
Find out more about the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup here.