Ah, the beach – a place of relaxation, bonding, and sheer fun.
Beaches are famous destinations for vacations and holidays because of the liberating and luxurious feeling of being in a place where the land and sea meets. Some beaches – like Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat beach– even have a lot more to offer than just sand and seawater.
Saadiyat is one of the most desirable beaches in the United Arab Emirates. This explains why some people choose to make beach-going a regular thing in the UAE. By getting a Saadiyat beach club membership, you can enjoy more time relaxing, bonding with your loved ones, and having fun.
Of course, it won’t stay this way for long if you don’t take your part in maintaining its beauty. Even the white sand and sparkling azure waters won’t even be as pure and lovely as they are now if beachgoers don’t follow these six environment-friendly practices:
1. Don’t leave anything behind
When visiting the beach, there’s an unspoken rule among beachgoers that entails not leaving anything behind. Everything you bring to the beach must also go with you when you leave. This will help reduce the waste left on the beach and save animals from the harm brought about by these objects.
To make sure you don’t leave garbage on the beach, adopt the following zero-waste tips:
- Use reusable bottles in place of plastic disposable bottles and cups. If you want to keep your water or other drinks cool longer, go for insulated tumblers instead.
- Steer clear of individually wrapped products (i.e., crackers and treats for children). Instead, buy in bulk and pack them in airtight containers when you head to the beach.
- Replace lightweight plastic bags with heavy material ones. Besides being sturdy enough to withstand multiple uses, the latter is also more difficult to get blown away to the sea.
2. Don’t take home anything you didn’t bring
Apart from not leaving anything behind, you should also avoid taking home anything you never brought to the beach in the first place. This includes seashells, sea leashes, pebbles, and even sand.
These items are part of an intricate ecosystem in the coastlines. For instance, sea leashes like cuttlefish bones, algae, and driftwood serve as food reservoirs for birds. They also serve as havens for many animals, anchor seagrass, and help stabilize beaches.
Seashells are the same. They provide a home for many small sea creatures and help prevent erosion at the beach.
Instead of bringing the actual thing, why not take a picture instead? It’ll last longer, and you even get to share it with other people. Most people bring home these items as souvenirs because they’re Instagram-worthy, so why not just capture them in their natural state?
3. Limit your carbon footprint
Besides making sure that garbage goes where it should, limiting other forms of filth that may harm the environment is also vital to be an eco-friendly beachgoer. In short, reduce your carbon footprint. This is the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere because of human activities.
A great way to achieve this is by booking your accommodation within walking or biking distance to the beach. If that’s not possible, opt to ride shuttles or public transport when going to your destinations. This way, there will be one less vehicle on the road and less carbon monoxide released into the air.
4. Follow the signs
Following signs does more than protect you from hazards at the beach – it also helps you become an eco-friendly beachgoer. You see, some signs are put up to conserve natural habitats of certain plants and animals.
Take the dunes at Saadiyat Beach, for example. Local authorities put up “keep off the dunes” signs and perimeter limits to ensure that people don’t damage these natural havens for animals. If you venture too far and go beyond these limits, you might end up disturbing these habitats.
Ensure that you stay on marked paths to avoid causing any damage to the dunes or any other protected zones on the beach. To reach Saadiyat Beach, you’ll have to tread a wooden boardwalk so as not to disrupt the daily native wildlife, like the hawksbill turtles.
These endangered species of turtles use the beach as their nesting ground. This is why authorities opt to keep the turtle hatching sites guarded by personnel trained who also monitor their population.
5. Choose eco-friendly water sports
Participating in water sports makes beach holidays more memorable and enjoyable for families, friends, and even co-workers. However, some of these activities also leave a carbon footprint, which, as you know, isn’t good for the Earth.
The good news is that there are plenty of other water-based activities that are as enjoyable (maybe even more) and eco-friendly at the same time. If you’re into water activities, go for paddling, surfing, snorkeling, and kite surfing. These activities don’t use any motor, which means they don’t emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Also, remember that, besides the noise pollution and carbon footprint motorized activities leave, they may also disturb marine wildlife.
6. Be eco-conscious in choosing your beach products
While the sun’s warmth at the beach is quite pleasant, it can get too hot too quickly. If you’re not careful, you might get a sunburn or worse — skin cancer.
To protect yourself from the sun rays, use a hat, and apply sunscreen. Sunscreens are products specially made to shield your skin from too much sunlight and help prevent skin diseases.
But don’t use just any sunscreen – choose eco-friendly ones that don’t contain oxybenzone.
You see, this chemical included in certain products causes damage to coral reefs. It speeds up the coral bleaching effect and can even kill young corals.
This is why, when choosing environment-friendly products, you must remember to read the label. The key is to know which ingredients can harm the environment and watch out for them in the products you use.
For sunscreens, go for those that are based on mineral filters and don’t contain any nanoparticles. Many brands offer these reef-safe alternatives without compromising your skin protection.
Help the Planet Heal 🌎
Human activities have caused plenty of destructive changes in the environment. Even going to the beach affects the planet and its inhabitants significantly. Help it heal with the eco-friendly tips listed in this article.
**This guest post was written by Chiara Bisignani from Saadiyat Beach Club!
Chiara Bisignani is the F&B Marketing Executive at Saadiyat Beach Club. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations of KOI Restaurant & Lounge, Boa Steakhouse and Caramel Restaurant and Lounge in Abu Dhabi.