Sunscreens are killing our reefs so shop smart this summer with Nivea. Did you know that coral is neither a rock nor a plant? It’s actually an animal and is made up of thousands of tiny invertebrates called polyps, that can be anything from a few millimetres to several centimetres wide. Over the past three years, roughly a fifth of the worlds coral population has sadly died.
This is due to a few different factors such as pollution and rubbish – what happens is, the rubbish blocks the sunlight and some bits of rubbish cut the coral, opening up the coral to absorbing harmful bacteria. Overfishing seems to be another problem, due to decreased population of fish among the reefs, this allows spreading of algae which tend to smother the reefs, thus killing them. Rising sea temperatures are another huge cause for reefs dying off and that is caused by… yep – you guessed it, global warming. Heat can cause the reefs to become more susceptible to viruses, it also ruins the symbiotic relationship (which is a mutually beneficial relationship) between the coral and its main food source, microalgae
The reason why this is such a cause for concern is that the world’s reefs provide home and shelter to marine life, which in turn feeds millions of people all around the world, so a collapse of the marine ecosystem could mean a missing link in the food chain for the world’s population. Reefs also limit shoreline erosion and reduce the destructive power of storms.
There are some things you can do to take your part in ensuring the world’s reefs won’t die off completely. The first thing is rather obvious and that is not to litter, especially at the beach or throw rubbish down drains. Secondly, is to make sure you are buying environmentally friendly sunscreens. Recent studies have shown that some chemicals in our sunscreens are extremely harmful to our coral reefs, causing major damage. It’s been estimated that 6,000 to 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen slides off humans and into the ocean and coral reef areas every year and for us as New Zealanders, being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean with coral reefs so nearby, we need to be made aware of this and do something to prevent it from happening.
The most harmful chemicals in our sunscreens are UV filters oxybenzone and Benzophenone-3, also known as BP-3; oxybenzone. These chemicals protect human skin against harmful UV rays, however, these chemicals are also a major contaminant for marine environments. In May 2018 Hawaii passed a bill banning sunscreens that contain these chemicals and in 2021 this bill will also be passed in New Zealand, which is great, but until then we need to avoid using these products to prevent any further damage. Even if you don’t go swimming in the sea after applying sunscreen, sunscreen can run off your body in the shower, down water drains and into the ocean.
So, to shop smarter this summer, Nivea have made it easy by removing these harmful chemicals from their entire range making them “reef-safe.” Nivea’s extensive range of sunscreens ranges from different levels of SPF, sunscreen for sensitive skin, sport sunscreens, spray-on sunscreens, child-friendly sunscreens and after-sun options. To check out their full range and to find a stockist near you, click the link here and do your part to protect our world’s important marine eco-system.
We have 1 x Nivea reef-smart sunscreen pack containing 1 x Nivea SPF50+ protect & moisture sunscreen, 1 x Nivea UV Face Shine Control SPF50 sunscreen, 1 x Nivea Ultra Sport Cooling SPF50 spray sunscreen and 1 x Nivea Sensitive Protect Soothes Sensitive Skin SPF50 sunscreen(valued at RRP $69 total) to give away!
Entries close midday 16th December 2019.
Competition entry terms and conditions can be found here.