Updated: Feb 14, 2021
On this chapter of our Carnicycle Alternatives, we highlight: Sunscreen.
Mas is usually played in locations and seasons where the sun is terribly hot. Yet, when we pack our bags for carnival, sunscreen never seems to be on the list. We either end up going without it on the road (a BIG no no) or we buy sunscreens like Neutrogena or Baby Bum once we land. Opting to use these sunscreens can potentially be equivalent to going without sunscreen.. According to the U.S. National Park Service, an estimated 4000-6000 tons of sunscreen, containing harmful ingredients, wash up on the coral reefs annually and globally. These toxic chemicals include: octocrylene, homosalate, and octisalate and most importantly oxybenzone or octinoxate.
How does sunscreen damage the reef?
When the chemicals from sunscreens enter the reef, they cause coral to become less tolerant to bleaching. Over time, this creates a disruption in the marine eco-system and by extension -- marine life.
Additionally, with continued and frequent use, these chemicals have been shown to create long term affects on our bodies after continued use. The CDC states that Oxybenzone mimics estrogen in the body.
Please pack reef-safe, organic sunscreen for your next mas trip.