Saturday, August 30, 2008

What's Good for Coral Reefs is Good for Us

What do National Geographic, Environmental Working Group and have in common?
They all reported on the ill-effects of certain types of suncreen on our coral reefs back in January and February of '08.  This is information that we all need and it should be highlighted again.
Live in a sunny part of the world and swim in the waters that support coral reefs?  You need to choose a sunscreen that won't poison the coral reefs.  Live in a part of the world where a winter vacation to a sunny part of the world is a welcome relief?  You need to choose a sunscreen that won't poison the coral reefs.
Oh, do you wear sunscreen, ever?  You need to choose a sunscreen that won't poison the coral reefs.......or you.
According to the Nat Geo site:
"..researchers estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off swimmers annually in oceans worldwide, and that up to 10 percent of coral reefs are threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching."
Fortunately, EWG reports:
The good news? "We don't need to choose between protecting our skin and protecting coral reefs," says Celia Ferreira, Ph.D., formulator of Caribbean Solutions sunscreen products in Orlando, Fla. "In my experience, sun products without petroleum derivatives actually protect the skin better."
The harmful ingredients to avoid include octinoxate, oxybenzone and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor, and the preservative butylparaben.  These also happen to be linked to cancer, allergic reactions, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity and reproductive harm in humans, according to the EWG.
Once again, what's good for our environment is really most good for ourselves.  Preserve and restore the habitat in which we thrive - this is the deepest essence of sustainable choices.

And always remember...... doing a little is more fulfilling than thinking that a little won't make a difference.

Share your story with us..... send your first name, last initial, general locale and what YOUR sustainable choice was today.  Your choice will be magnified and made more powerful, you will educate and inspire, and others will join you.

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