While it has taken quite some time, the inaugural World Reef Day is finally here! Spearheaded by Raw Elements, a certified natural sunscreen company developed by Brian Guadagno, World Reef Day is a wake up call to acknowledge the damage that has been done to coral reefs around the world, but also an informational day to shed light on how communities, businesses, influencers, and individuals can make a difference through education, awareness, and positive action.
Recent years have shown that major reefs around the world are rapidly declining. A huge percentage of what was once vibrantly colored reef, replete with marine life, is now brown, broken, and dying, if not already dead. Reef destruction can be attributed to industrial pollution, chemical sunscreens, plastic pollution, sewage, and high-density tourism. The Great Barrier Reef and reefs in Hawaii have declined by 40%, while 99% of the reefs in the Florida Keys and 85% of Caribbean reefs have declined over the years. As consumers become more aware of the threat they pose to oceans and reefs, hopefully they make more educated, eco-friendly, and ocean-safe decisions that have a powerful environmental impact.
For World Reef Day, and every day after this new annual day, Raw Elements is encouraging people to do three things to protect the ocean and reefs:
- Use reef-safe sunscreen
- Reduce single-use plastics
- Spread the message
With support from Hawaiian Airlines and Aqua-Aston Hospitality, World Reef Day is far from a small initiative. In fact, Hawaiian Airlines gave out complimentary samples of Raw Elements reef-safe sunscreen on all of its inbound flights to Hawaii from May 25-June 1. Additionally, the month of June will include activities focused on the environment, and presentations that are designed to initiate conversations about action and sustainability. The more people talk about how their actions affect the health of our reefs, the more conscious efforts will be made to ensure healthy reefs in the future.
The state of Hawaii and Key West, Florida have already signed bills into legislation prohibiting the use of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, both of which are extremely harmful to coral reefs. In addition to reducing the use of single-use plastics, which contribute to environmental pollution, people can help preserve our reefs by using non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens. Consider Raw Elements or other reef-safe sunscreens this summer, especially if you are going to the beach.