New Zealand is world famous for its stunning, diverse and unspoilt beaches and marine life. New Zealanders take for granted that come the summer holidays they and their families will be swimming in the ocean. New Zealand is blessed with varied beaches, whether it is the dramatic black sands of Muriwai, perfect for kite and windsurfing or an inner city hidden treasure like Sentinel beach, Northland's famous Ninety Mile Beach or the Coromandel's iconic Hot Water Beach. Sun, sea and surf are an essential highlight of any kiwi summer and there are plenty to pick from.
Clean, beautiful beaches are all over the country and it is our duty to keep them that way for future generations. Actor Adrian Grenier recently spoke at an event for charity Our Ocean; "Our ailing ocean is the biggest victim of humanity's hubris; together we own this crisis, and so together we must come to face the music. It's time for industrial innovation, unprecedented government cooperation, alongside business and humanity evolving to avoid an existential catastrophe."
We are all becoming increasingly aware of environmental concerns; stories about the plight of the oceans are frequently in the news or on social media. The issue can feel a little overwhelming, but there are simple habits that we can change as individuals that will collectively make a difference. Instead of waiting for politicians to make new rules, you can vote with your wallet and be conscious of the choices you make every day in regard to your personal consumption.
One of the simplest and potentially most effective ways to cut down on the rubbish that ends up in our oceans is to limit our reliance on single-use plastic. If you are a morning coffee addict consider buying a reusable coffee cup, or maybe saying no to the lid on your take away coffee. There are wide a selection of reusable cups available online.
Another simple way to affect the amount of plastic in our seas is to buy in bulk or use recyclable and reusable packaging and containers. Household items like laundry powder and dishwashing liquid are a storeroom essential, so it makes sense economically and environmentally to buy them in bulk. ecostore offers a range of products in bulk sizes.
Our drains also flow directly into the sea, so it's worth being aware of what goes down them. Many hair and skin care products also contain microbeads that are tiny pieces of plastic that after use get washed down the drains and then into the sea. The New Zealand government has banned the use of microbeads from next year, but in the meantime, all ecostore products are microbead free.
The other easy change we can all make is to never leave more than your footprints on any beach, and if you do see litter pick it up. Fish and chips by the beach is a kiwi rite of summer, again we can make positive change by buying sustainable, renewable fish for our suppers. Take those ice cream tubs to the nearest bin or better yet, recycle them so we can all continue to enjoy the coastline and open seas of New Zealand for generations to come.
You can find out more on the ecostore blog about microbeads and how to keep New Zealand's beaches clean and green.