Using Reef Safe Sunscreen at Molokini Crater
There is a rising concern about the environmental impact Sunscreen has on our Coral Reefs. With more and more visitors snorkeling Molokini Crater each year it's important to be educated. In order to be proactive, one should know the facts. First, the “Reef Safe” labels can be misleading because the CFDC and other Government watchdogs do not yet have an Agreed Upon Definition of ”Reef Safe”. What this means for the eco-friendly consumer is one must read the list of ingredients on the label. Below is a list of product ingredients that should be avoided when shopping for sunscreen. These ingredients are considered to be Environmental Pollutants.
Para- aminobenzoic acid (Paba)
Hawaii has passed a bill that outlaws the use/ sale of any sunscreen with Oxybenzone and Octinoxate by 2021. It is estimated that over 14,000 tons of sunscreen is introduced to the ocean’s eco system per year and the coral reefs that provide a safe environment for 85% of the ocean’s wildlife to thrive, grow, and eat, are in danger of becoming extinct.
1) Use a sunscreen that is free of the above listed ingredients.
2) Wear a long-sleeved rash guard or even a good old-fashioned t-shirt when swimming to protect your skin. You will need less sunscreen and that alone will help.
3) Avoid using spray-on sunscreen as it gets into the air, and into your lungs and other people’s lungs. Plus it lands on the sand and gets washed into the ocean.
4) Avoid peak sun times when your skin is the most vulnerable. During peak times, seek shade and avoid direct sunlight.
We all want to enjoy ourselves while on vacation here in Hawaii. If you follow these simple guidelines we can reduce the harmful environmental impact of our reefs and our ocean’s eco-system.