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Packing for the Beach

2010 July 15

As with any trip, a day at the beach should involve some planning and preparation. While a bathing suit is a given, there are some things that we should or should not take to the beach. What should appear on the checklist of the do’s and don’ts you may ask? Well, the number one thing NOT to take to the beach is…plastics, especially plastic bags. While plastics are commonly used in many aspects of our lives, they have become a major component of marine debris. From water and soda bottles, to cups, utensils, containers, packaging, these plastics have adverse effects on our beaches and marine life. Plastic bags are often swallowed by marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds with tragic consequences.

So what should you do when packing for the beach? Well, take reusable bags, bottles, and containers. While at the beach, make sure you dispose of trash properly.

On the must-haves at the beach? First and foremost, make sure you are SunWise and not sun-foolish. Make sure you take some sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15—even on cloudy days. Also, wear sunglasses and protective clothing like a wide-brimmed hat, for example. And in this day and age of modern mobile technology, EPA has a new mobile application that you can use on smartphones which allows you to check the UV index on the go! Just some simple tips to protect yourself, your family, and our environment.

About the author:  Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force.  Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    July 15, 2010

    How are you, Mrs. Younes ? For next hundred years,I skeptic plastic will be loose from this planet, maybe just in many green interest countries. We must admit that plastics before, had helped the people anywhere. Approximately, Environmentalists should be judgment against technologies, like you. Technology versus Technology……

  2. Linda permalink
    July 15, 2010

    I think the most important thing to take to the beach is a basket or tote bag … along with the firm resolve to take back home everything you brought! A common saying among backpackers is, “Pack it in, pack it out”, and that should hold true for any senic place, be it the beach, a mountain meadow, or even the local park.

  3. Lina-EPA permalink
    July 15, 2010

    Definitely a good policy in any setting—“Pack it in, pack it out.” I like that. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bharat permalink
    July 16, 2010

    In Simple terms;

    Whatever things you are taking at such places with you

    (i.e., in a beach or a mountains or rivers or any natural places where there is no one to clean & remove your trash materials like our local municipals do in our towns/cities.)

    right from minute materials to big things just brought all of them

    back with you(either in a consumed form or as it was).

  5. Lina-EPA permalink
    July 16, 2010

    Those are very good recommendations. Hope more people followed your advice.

  6. Rico Puerto permalink
    October 7, 2010

    Sunny beaches, exotic places and an all year long warm climate island in the Caribbean that is what Puerto Rico can be described with. If you are looking for a place to spend you vacations outside the country then you need to look this up in your world map. You can be enthralled with all the sights you’ll see in this tropic country and you will probably enjoy the cheery mood the beaches there can offer.

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