Heading to the beach? Five ways to be an eco-friendly beachgoer

Photo: Pexels

Five ways to be an eco-friendly beachgoer

Here are five simple tips on how you can adapt for your eco-friendly beach holidays.

Heading to the beach? Five ways to be an eco-friendly beachgoer

Photo: Pexels

Are you looking forward to some sunny beach days? 

Coastlines and oceans are fragile, so before leaving, here are simple tips on the actions you can adapt for your eco-friendly beach holidays.

Whether you opt for a beach staycation or travel to a coastal region further from your home, even on vacation, take your eco-friendly habits with you.

1.Obey the signs at the beach

Signs at the beach are there to protect you and the environment! If there are signs that say “keep off dunes,” it’s because dunes provide habitats for plants and animals. By walking on the dunes, you disturb their habitat. Stay on marked paths to avoid causing any damage.

2. Don’t collect shells on the beach

Shells are essential to beaches. They provide homes and hiding places for animals, stabilize beaches, and anchor seagrass. Removing shells changes the environment and has negative impacts like erosion and a decrease of animals who need the shells. 

3. Choose blue beach

There are more than 48 beaches in South Africa with the Blue Flag label in the world.

The Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) announced in 2020 that 58 Blue Flags would be flown at 48 beaches, six marinas, and four sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2020/21 Blue Flag season.

An environmental label created in Europe in the 1980s certifying cities and marinas committed to sustainable tourism.

Choosing a beach with the Blue Flag label is also a guarantee of swimming in clean water.

Click here for a list of the Blue Flag Beaches in South Africa. 

4. Respect biodiversity 

Do not lift rocks so as not to disturb the species that have settled there. Do not pick up live animals like starfish or crabs just for fun.

If you dive, don’t touch the corals, stay away from the large mammals you encounter, and feed the fish.

If you are going to a destination where you have the privilege of witnessing a sea turtle outbreak, keep your distance and enjoy the show.

If you fish or fish on foot, find out about protected species, limit yourself to authorized species and respect regulated sizes. And fish only what you need for your consumption.

5. Don’t leave anything behind 

Everything you take to the beach should leave with you. This way, the amount of littering at the beach is limited. 

It also prevents animals from getting sick from Waste left at the beach.

If the beach you are going to is littered with plastic, take two minutes to do a little cleaning or join a beach clean-up organized by an association in the town you are visiting.

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