#GoWilde Week 30: Check your SPF

It's summer time which means lots of outdoor activities. Sunscreen is essential for protecting you from harmful rays, but some sunscreens contain chemical additives that can be harmful for you and also for the environment.

When sunscreen washes off in oceans, lakes and rivers, it can leave chemical residues behind that may be harmful to marine life, particularly coral reefs and phytoplankton. Each year between 4400-6600 TONS of sunscreen washes off swimmers and snorkelers into coral reef environments. The chemical residues cause coral bleaching and are harmful and even fatal for other aquatic life and birds.

When you are purchasing sunscreen, look at the ingredients! Here are five big ingredients to stay away from:
1. Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3)
2. Butylparaben
3. Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate) 
4. 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4MBC) 
5. Vitamin A

Environmental Working Group has a full list of environmentally safe sunscreens online that you can check out. With climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, destructive fishing, and coastal development, we need to do everything we can to be cautious and save our oceans and waterways.