Heading to the beach this weekend? You no doubt made peace with the fact that you’ll be adding to your carbon footprint — hey, anything for some fun in the sand and surf, right?!
But you can still do something to minimize your environmental impact on the beach. And no, I’m not referring to picking up trash on the beach – although that’s always a good idea.
What does nearly everyone do at the beach? Shower! There’s nothing better than those wonderful outside showers. But when you soap up, the soap runs into storm water drains that often lead directly to the ocean. The soap run-off is toxic to marine life.
And those “earth friendly” biodegradable soaps and shampoos? Well, according to this report from the Maryland Department of the Environment, even “a flush of ‘biodegradable’ soap suds will still harm fish or invertebrates in your local stream.”
That was news to yours truly, who regrettably had lathered up outside on more than one occasion with “earth friendly” biodegradable soaps. In Rehoboth Beach, our favorite seaside destination, the storm water drains flow directly to the Atlantic Ocean and to a fresh-water lake, which was recently the scene of a massive fish kill due to environmental toxins from storm water run-off, among other suspected causes.
So enjoy your outside shower, but skip the soap and shampoo. Save the real clean-up for the inside shower!
Happy Fourth of July!
Update: Here’s another good piece about the misconceptions regarding biodegradable soaps.
Copyright 2008 OrganicMania
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