My first morning in Rapa Nui* broke with rain. The incandescent sky of the previous day had been quickly overtaken by storm clouds fetched by the fleet Pacific winds. Overnight, the wind howled over...
Conceived in the open sea, tiny spaceship-shaped sea urchin larvae search the vast ocean to find a home. After this incredible odyssey, they undergo one of the most remarkable transformations in nature.
#ThinkTuesday I'm in the middle of prepping for my last trip of the year - a longtime bucket list destination! It is an incredible coral reef ecosystem, so I want to do a timely share on the subject of reef-safe sunscreens.
Earlier this year, a fellow travel blogger who is also a medical professional ( 😉 thanks WanderingRedhead!) shared some actual journal articles providing the studies that underpin these findings. Even though I already trusted the information before, I was still surprised by how convincing and clear the actual data was.
It left no doubt in my mind that no sustainable marine enthusiast would come with conventional sunscreen. I could totally see why reef-dependent economies like Hawai'i and Palau chose to ban them outright (don't bring these sunscreens if you're travelling to such destinations!).
Good news to Asians, who traditionally swim clothed - we are finally leading in responsible travel fashion, albeit accidentally! Given that there are other compounds that may also be harmful, but not researched yet, the #1 recommended habit is actually to enjoy coral seas while wearing sun-protective clothing so that your need for sunscreen is limited!
Boracay is one of the most highly touristed destinations in the Philippines. It was closed for a time, to upgrade its infrastructure and allow some time for the ecosystem to recover. It re-opened this year, and I wonder how much impact the improvement has had.
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