Mermaids are known as the protectors of the sea and have a responsibility as ocean ambassadors to help the environment. There are many ways we can do this at home, but as we travel to our favorite beaches on vacation, it is even more important to respect our surroundings.
Here are six ways you can help protect the ocean while on your next vacation.
1. Look For The Bins
Most public areas have trash bins to throw away your garbage. It’s hard to remember all the wrappers and receipts you accumulate while having so much fun, but it’s important they end up in the right place. With the high number of coastal animals, there is a good chance loose trash could end up in their stomachs or get washed out to sea.
Make an effort to dispose of garbage properly and avoid littering to keep the area beautiful for other travelers.
2. Bring A Water Bottle
There are countless plastic water bottles littering our environment as we speak. According to The Association of Plastic Recyclers, only about one-third of plastic bottles are actually recycled every year. The waste these non-recycled bottles create in our environment is bad, but it isn’t even the worst part. It’s the production and transportation of all the bottles that is really hurting the planet.
Americans purchase 29 billion bottles of water every year, which requires 17 million barrels of oil to produce. Then the transportation of these bottles releases thousands of tons of CO2 into the air.
Hopefully, these stats will help you remember to pack your water bottle wherever you go.
3. Leave the Seashells
We all want to bring a treasure home to remember the good times, but… these old shells still serve a purpose. Clamshells eventually break down and become sand. This helps sustain the sands on beaches everywhere so we can return to our favorite spots year after year. Other types of shells help creatures like hermit crabs find a home as they grow.
As beautiful and tempting as it may be, leave the shell on the beaches.
4. Don’t Step on the Coral
Corals are precious neighborhoods for fish, but they take years and years to grow. Coral is actually made up of thousands of tiny animals called polyps, and interacting with them is damaging. Snorkeling provides a wonderful way to see what ocean life is like, but please don’t touch, break or step on the coral, even if you are wearing water shoes or flippers.
5. Use Reef-Safe Sunscreen
One of the best feelings in the world is laying out and soaking up some sun, but don’t forget the sunscreen! Getting sunburned on a vacation is the worst! Did you know that some chemicals in sunscreen (oxybenzone and octinoxate) can hurt coral and have caused serious damage to coral reefs around the world?
No matter where you swim, please spend a few extra dollars and use reef-safe sunscreen to keep the coral healthy.
6. Respect Animal Life
Depending on where you are in the world, you will find different animals and sea creatures to interact with. The best approach is no approach. Give these animals space, especially during sensitive times like mating, nesting, or raising their young. Don’t try to feed any animals unless a specialist is in attendance. You don’t know what they can and can’t eat. Admire these beautiful creatures from afar and remember to bring your camera!
Foster a safe environment for turtles during hatching season (May-October) by keeping beachfront lights off at night. Hatchlings typically surface at night and use natural light reflecting off the ocean to help navigate from their nest to the water. You can see why artificial light coming from buildings poses a problem! It’s also important to remove personal items from the beach so they don’t act as a barrier for these little ones finding their way to the ocean.
It’s Easy to Protect the Ocean
As exciting as a vacation can be, beautiful areas have plenty of visitors so it’s extra important to watch ourselves and do our part for Mother Earth. A little effort from each and every mermaid can go a long way to protect the ocean.
Have a great time on your vacation and remember to bring your tail!
Molly is the owner of the blog Everything Mermaid and enjoys writing articles not only for her blog but for other mermaid and travel sites. She specializes in mermaid product reviews and loves to interview professional mermaids around the world!