Decide To Use Reef Safe Sunscreen
Problem: Coral reefs are fragile ecosystems that are already under strain due to climate change. The chemicals in sunscreen are making it even harder for coral reefs and aquatic life.
Solution: Use coral reef-safe sunscreen or a sun shirt.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor but are home to over 25% of all marine creatures. The planet is losing species at a rate greater than 1000 times the background or “natural” rate of extinction. Forecasts have between 30-50% of species threatened by extinction by the middle of this century.
I certainly do not want my sunscreen to be contributing to biodiversity loss; especially if there’s a simple swap available. While not every bottle labeled reef-safe is actually reef-safe, Consumer Reports has looked into the issue more deeply and recommended a few brands.
Hawaii has become the first U.S. state to ban non reef-safe sunscreen. My friend Carmen, who is a vendor for Beautycounter, made me aware that they have also taken up the cause and are now selling reef-safe sunscreen as well.
Resources for Curious Minds
The Truth About Reef Safe Sunscreen (Consumer Reports)
What is Coral Reef Bleaching (National Ocean Service)
What is biodiversity and why does ti matter to us? (The Guardian)
Staghorn coral (Center for Biological Diversity)
As with everything I write, if you have additional information or insights on this topic, I am all ears. This doesn’t appear to be a straightforward topic, and I am keen to make the best decision possible. What are your favourite brands?