Day 144 / 365

It wasn't until this year, that I discovered (was told by my sister-in-law) that the sunscreen I've been slathering on my pasty skin throughout my life in order to enjoy the outdoors, and often times enter bodies of water so I might enjoy the magical aquatic creatures and plants which dwell there is, in fact, causing murders of the mass variety to the very creatures I consciously wish to conserve.

Yet another human hypocrisy to add to the mountain of ignorant actions our species continuously commits.

The Problem

Researchers from the Universtiy of Central Florida have found that oxybenzone, a common UV-filtering compound found in sunscreens, not only kills the coral, but also causes DNA damage in adults and deforms the DNA in coral in the larval stage, preventing new coral from developing properly and multiplying.

In addition, Oxybenzone also causes coral bleaching, which is responsible for coral mortality worldwide. Coral bleaching occurs when tthe algae which live inside thriving coral, are erradicated, causing coral to use a valuable source of nutrition.

The highest concentrations of oxybenzone are found in reefs most popular with tourists. Each year, about 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in coral reefs worldwide and it isn't just from contaminations from our beach frolicking, it also happens from daily use when we rinse off in our showers, forgetting where our waste water ends up.

Coral reefs are more than just pretty scenery for our underwater adventures, they are amongst the most diverse and valuable ecosystems on earth and are crucial to the well-being of other marine life. 

The Solution

Break up with the murderous cream you've come to know and love and convert to a sunscreen which is sustainable for the Oceans instead. The Environmental Working Group has a list of brands they approve of on their website, which I've linked in below

I chose to buy Badger sunscreen for us as it came highly recommended by my fellow blogger, Stephanie, from My Kind Closet. I purchased: BADGER SPF 30 Sunscreen Lavender  & BADGER SPF 25 Rose Face Sunscreen but any of the specific brands below are safe for you and the environment (please note some brands only have one, or a few safe options from their collections. I've only added products listed as safe by EWG below).

Photos:  Shane Woodward
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8