Hold onto your iced matcha latte—we’ve got just 6 days until Memorial Day Weekend, aka the unofficial start of summer! It’s also when Triple A says over 42 million people are estimated to travel, and many of them are hitting the beach.
That’s no surprise, since visiting a shoreline comes with several big benefits: It’s fun, it’s candy for Instagram posts, and it’s loaded with proven mental health boosts like reduced stress and heightened happiness.
But if you’re going to get good vibes from the ocean, you’ve got to give some back. That’s why today’s small step is a Beach Day Checklist to ensure you don’t make any waves when it comes to the ecosystem. The good news: All it takes is a few small adjustments to lessen your impact… and heighten your fun, too.
☀️CATCH A RIDE BEFORE CATCHING A WAVE
Beach parking is often expensive and stressful—and the fumes from cars aren’t great for local wildlife. If possible, try to carpool, take public transportation, walk, or bike instead. Even parking a few more blocks away can help!
☀️PASS ON PLASTIC
Bringing reusable water bottles, glass or silicone food containers, and zero waste lip balm can help ensure no microplastics end up in the ocean.
☀️BE SMART ABOUT SPF
While there’s no such thing as truly “reef safe” sunscreen (sorry!), you can use a mineral formula to reduce your impact. Even better: Find one in recyclable, refillable packaging (like this one) or pick a brand with tubes made from post-consumer plastic (like this one).
☀️AND COVER UP TO USE LESS
Wearing a rash guard or swim tee can reduce your UV exposure and your SPF use. Plus, many super-cute options are now made with recycled materials! Can’t part with your beloved bikini? That’s cool, too, especially since the most sustainable swimsuit is the one you already own.
Whether you’re near a mango grove in Florida or a strawberry field in Maine, beach communities are often hubs for delicious roadside snacks. Put your money where your vacation pics are—support the local farms close to your beach day!