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Save the Reef

“The twin perils brought by climate change; an increase in ocean temperature and its acidity, threaten coral reefs very existence. If they continue to rise at the present rate the reefs will be gone within decades, and that would be a global catastrophe. If the reef goes, the fish will also disappear, and that could affect the livelihood and diet of human communities worldwide.

But there’s surely another reason why we should protect the reefs, they are among this planets richest, most complex and most beautiful eco-systems.
Do we really care so little about the earth on which we live that we don’t wish the protect one of its greatest wonders from the consequences of our behaviour.”
- Sir David Attenborough, 2016

(A healthy section of the Great Barrier Reef (left) compared to a bleached section (right). Left photo by Gary Bell (oceanwideimages.com) Right photo by Roger Grace (Greenpeace))

The coral reefs are dying all around our planet.
They are unlike anything else on the planet. They provide a habitat for millions of species and 25% of all our oceans fish and animals, are the fundamental base for the ocean ecosystem, hundreds of millions of people rely on them for essential nutrition, livelihoods, protection from life-threatening and crucial economic opportunity.
And they are dying.

Our Save the Reef Collection donates 20% of overall profits and 50% of profits made from our Coral Earrings to WWF, to support their work on protecting areas rich in coral reefs and where coastal communities depend on reefs for their wellbeing. 

Some Statistics & Facts.

  • 50% of the world’s shallow water coral reefs have already died.
  • The great barrier reef which is the largest living structure on the planet, visible from space (the size of Japan or Italy or 70 million football fields) has lost over 50% of its coral since 1985.
  • Scientists predict that if our sea temperatures rise by another 2 degrees, all of the coral reefs on our planet will die.
  • Coral reefs are disappearing twice as fast as the rainforest
  • From the years 1976-1979 only 3 bleaching events were recorded, 1980-1993 60 events were recorded, and in 2002 more than 400 events were recorded.
  • If present rates of destruction are allowed to continue, we will lose our coral reefs in our generation.  

What are the main threats to coral reefs?

  • Climate change
  • Pollution & plastic pollution
  • Overfishing & destructive fishing
  • Unsustainable coastal development
  • Sedimentation
  • Careless tourism
  • and many other human impact factors.

How you can help.

Alongside donating to charities that are helping conserve and protect coral reefs around the world, one of the smallest things we could do to help our coral reefs that has the biggest impact is to buy Reef-Safe sun cream.

Most sun cream will contain a chemical called OXYBENZONE or OCTINOXATE.

These chemicals seep into the water when you go swimming or when you shower and ends up in the sea where they’re absorbed by corals.
These chemicals are highly toxic to coral and effectively suffocates them, disrupting the reproduction and growth cycles and ultimately leads to bleaching and death.

  • A single drop of Oxybenzone in an area of 4 million gallons of water is enough to endanger corals, algae, sea urchins, fish and mammals.
  • A drop of sun cream containing one of these chemicals will pollute an area the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool.
  • The National Geographic estimates 14,000 tons of sun cream are washed into the oceans each year
  • Hawaii have introduced a ban on sun creams containing the chemicals OXYBENZONE and OXTINOXATE.
  • Palau have restricted the sale and use of sunscreen and skincare products that contain a list of 10 different chemicals, with oxybenxzone topping the list.

Other ways to help protect our reefs

  • Picking up plastic litter on the beach
  • Recycling responsibly and keeping your environmental footprint as low as possible.
  • Join the next Earth Hour on Saturday March 28, 2020.
  • Write to your local MP, sign petitions to communicate to our country leaders that we need to properly tackle climate change limit ocean temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Supporting local charities you believe in that are working to conserve and protect areas rich in coral reefs.

Finding the right sun cream.

Most companies and brands have started to disguise these ingredients on their labels and listing them under a different, more complex name to confuse their customers.
Therefore a more detailed look and research needs to be done in order to find the right and safer cream.

  • Check the list of chemicals – An environmental lab publishes a list each year of what sunscreens are safe for the environment. Or take Haiwaii State Department’s signs that reads: ‘If you can’t say it, don’t spray it.’
  • Try not to use spray sun creams full stop. They disperse everywhere and end up in our oceans quicker and easier.
  • Wear move cover items, i.e. hats, shirts and other garment items to reduce your consumption of suncream
  • Take cover during the hottest times of day.

We’ve also found a list of marine/reef safe sun creams compiled by ELLE, Hawaii.com, the Independent, Bustle and Biggreensmile with links below (no affiliated links, we are not getting paid to write or recommend these).

https://www.elle.com/uk/beauty/body-and-physical-health/a27402217/marine-friendly-spf-sun-cream/

https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/sun-care-tanning/best-eco-friendly-sunscreen-natural-organic-mineral-for-face-baby-sensitive-skin-a8340881.html

https://www.hawaii.com/blog/reef-safe-sunscreen/

https://www.bustle.com/p/13-non-toxic-sunscreens-under-pound20-available-in-the-uk-so-you-can-glow-responsibly-9031625

https://www.biggreensmile.com/article/reef-safe-natural-sunscreen.aspx