Soft sand, dunes, the shore, and the sea - the beach is such a special place to so many people.
Visit often, but when you do, leave only your footprints, and take away with you a blissful day of glorious sunshine and good times with those who matter most.
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect your beloved beach every time you visit.
Take your rubbish home with you
Sure, you’ll find plenty of bins along the shore, but the problem with these, particularly when beaches get busy as the day goes on, is that they quickly become overfilled.
It’s quite disheartening to see a bin overflowing as rubbish spills out onto the sand.
And while visitors have good intentions, the effort is lost when their trash ends up back on the beach.
The best way to ensure your rubbish ends up in the right spot is to bring along a recyclable bag and take your trash home with you. That way, you can be sure that it’s being disposed of properly and safely.
Avoid plastic bottles
We all know the devastating effect single-use plastic has on our planet.
When littered, water bottles usually end up in the ocean, breaking into small fragments that are then ingested by marine life that mistakes them for food.
As if you needed more reason to kick the plastic bottle habit: when decomposing, plastic can also release harmful chemicals into our environment, threatening not only marine life but humans and other animals too.
The solution? A chic, eco-friendly drink bottle that can be used again and again.
These awesome bottles from Coconene are a staple for days out by the ocean.
UV-printed designs ensure these awesome styles won’t fade in the sun, while insulation keeps your drink cool (or warm) for up to 12 hours.
Clean up after your dog
This should go without saying for any good pet owner, no matter where you are.
But did you know just how important it is to clean up after your dog at the beach?
When left on the beach (or anywhere for that matter), pet waste enters stormwater drains where it then ends up in oceans, lakes, and other water sources. It can contain bacteria and parasites that contaminates water and harms marine life.
The request here is pretty simple - and something we hope you’re doing already: clean up after your dog and dispose of waste correctly.
Use a chemical-free sunscreen
We know that sun protection is super important, but did you know that your choice of sunscreen can have an impact on the environment?
Reef-friendly sunscreens are those free from harmful chemicals that can damage the ocean.
Ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate are UV blocking chemicals that can cause coral bleaching.
When shopping for sunscreen, look out for these two ingredients on the bottle - and avoid them where possible.
Sunscreens will also clearly market themselves as ‘reef friendly’ or ‘reef safe’ - so it’s easier than ever to make a smart and eco choice when it comes to sun protection.
Don’t feed the animals
We know, seagulls can be a nightmare - and while it’s tempting to toss a chip to them to encourage them to go away, the truth is that they’ll simply come back for more!
Keep these pesky birds at bay by ignoring their demands for a feed.
In short, don’t disrupt the diets of the birds, fishes, and other animals that call the ocean home.
This global movement was launched in 2010 by Marine ecologist Roberta Dixon-Valk, youth educator Amanda Marechal, and environmentalist Tim Silverwood.
The initiative is simple: pick up three pieces of rubbish at the beach and take it home with you, and you too can make a difference.
Their belief is that small actions taken by many of us can have a huge impact.
So huge, in fact, that Take 3’s impact removes 10 million pieces of rubbish from our beaches and waterways every year.
Join the movement - next time you’re at the beach, pick up three pieces of rubbish and dispose of them properly.
Spread the word!
Speak with friends and family and share with them what you’ve learned - whether it’s the #Take3ForTheSea initiative, or the fact that some sunscreens can actually be harming our oceans.
Sharing your passion and knowledge is an awesome way to encourage others to play their part, too.
What other tips do you have to share? We’d love to hear them. Head on over to our Instagram and let us know.