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Green Tips For Beachgoers: How To Stay Safe And Have Fun

Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/05/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:25 PM ET

Beach

Hello, beach season!

I saw someone wearing board shorts and carrying a styrofoam beach cooler -- not as ubiquitous as they used to be, maybe -- and it made me realize that we needed to get ourselves green and ready for the beach.

IS YOUR BEACH CLEAN?

Planet Green says that the first thing to be aware of is how safe the beach itself is. Use the EPA's beach data to see if your beach is monitored and safe.

GREEN YOUR 'SCREEN

If you can stay away from chemicals and preservatives, you're doing everybody a favor. When comparing sunscreens, see which ones have loads of ingredients you can't pronounce or wouldn't recognize as a plant and put those back on the shelf. Planet Green warns against parabens (ingredients that end in "paraben") and chemicals like oxybenzone. Grist tested out seven green sunscreen brands for your benefit.

GREEN SWIMWEAR

There are a lot of options out there -- just search "green swimwear" and you'll see -- but it's one of those categories that really tries to take financial advantage of the aspiring greenie. So Ideal Bite recommends skinny dipping to cut down on the materials and shipping involved in making any new products. Great idea, but if you're a bit shy (or don't want to be responsible for using a whole body's worth of green sunscreen every time you take a dip), another option would be to make sure the suit you have lasts a long time, so you don't have to buy new ones all the time.

THINK AHEAD

Don't buy the styrofoam cooler. Come on. Just don't.

Get yourself a nice, reusable cooler that will be your beach buddy for many seaside forays to come. And just remember to do all of the great stuff at the beach that you do at home: reduce, reuse recycle. Happy beachgoing!

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