You must have known that travelling can cause negative impacts to the environment. Even though there are many things you can do to travel more sustainably, there are always chances that you contribute to further damage the nature. One of the most important things we all have to protect is the coral reefs. They are living under the water and are often violated and damaged by human’s way of living. As traveler, we can do many things to help protect them by travelling more sustainably and responsibly. Here are some tips to enjoy your trip without damaging coral reefs:
Use reef-safe sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen is important when you are indoor or outdoor because UV rays can damage your skin and cause skin cancer. However, it is also important to be more selective in choosing sunscreen product because some of them are harmful to coral reefs. Make sure choose sunscreens that don’t contain harmful chemical for the reefs such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, or octinoxate. You can opt for sunscreen that are made with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
By supporting eco-tourism, you choose activities that are beneficial to the local communities and environment. You only choose environmentally friendly practices throughout your trip. Or, you can actively join communities that support eco-tourism and involve in their activities to save the reefs. You can do some research in advance to make sure you are supporting the right communities and causes.
Opt for local restaurant to dine in
It is known that local fishermen typically catch what is available to them. It means they only catch what they need and you are able to have fresh catches to be served on your table for dining in. Keep in mind that large-scale fishing often overfish and damage the life of coral reefs. It often kills catches unintentionally and pollute the water. Choose local restaurant that is sustainably sourced, following domestic seafood guides.
Use reusable essentials to pack
It is highly suggested that you avoid using any disposable plastics to pack your items. Yes, they come in handy and are lightweight that your luggage won’t be added with more weight or space. However, the environmental impact of using plastics is nothing funny. Hence, it is more recommended that you use reusable essentials such as reusable water bottle, shopping bags, utensils, straws, etc. Avoid single-use plastics to also help save coral reefs since many of those plastics end up in the ocean.
Stop buying coral souvenirs
There are so many coral souvenirs displayed in various shops near tourist attractions. They are in a form of handmade jewelry or home decor. They are beautifully crafted, making tourists get interested to buy some. However, many are unaware that those are made by living creatures such as conch, starfish, corals, etc. By buying them, you are supporting the deforestation of reefs. By not buying those products, you help push the market to no longer invest in these items. This way, you can help save the ecosystem of marine life.