The Best Reef-Safe & Sustainable Products in Australia
Coral reefs are not just pretty to look at. They are thriving communities that provide protective and nourishing environments to a whole host of marine life. In fact, coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean, yet they are host to more than 25% of all ocean life! Here in Australia, we have thousands of coral reef systems off our shores, including the beautiful Ningaloo Reef, which is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments on the planet!
Moreover, corals reefs are not just homes for other species they also support the entire ecosystem. They help improve the water quality, stabilise the sea bed and reduce the impact of storms. And these beautiful and vital reef communities are vanishing faster than rainforests! Whilst climate change is mostly to blame, non-reef-safe products, such as chemical-based sunscreens, also contribute to the loss of coral reefs.
Therefore, choosing reef-safe products has a direct impact on saving these essential marine environments.
It’s undeniable that we have caused and are still causing widespread damage to the planet we live on. It’s noticeable everywhere - from those plastic bottles floating down the river, to the bare tree stumps as far as the eye can see. This is why we hear the word “sustainable” thrown about a lot nowadays...but what does it actually mean?
According to the dictionary:
“Sustainable = Causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.”
If you think about all of the products that you buy and use, how many of them are actually sustainable? Luckily, there are now plenty of eco-friendly companies out there that are helping to create a more sustainable and circular economy.
How to Care for the Marine Environment
It’s not just down to the producers and manufacturers! It’s also our responsibility as consumers to create demand for sustainable products and make conscious and informed decisions about which products to buy.
Where can you buy sustainable and reef-safe products that are made locally in Australia? We’ve got a couple of ideas to help get you started:
SunButter Sunscreen is the brainchild of a team of Australian-based marine biologists who share a deep love and appreciation of the ocean. Additionally, as surfers and divers they also understand the need to protect skin from the harmful effects of overexposure to UV radiation.
Regular sunscreens use chemicals to absorb the UV rays, which contribute to the bleaching of coral reefs and pollute other forms of marine life. SunButter Sunscreen is chemical-free and therefore, much more sustainable and reef-safe. Their active ingredient - non-nanoparticle zinc oxide - is made from a naturally-occurring mineral, which has the lowest known impact of a sunscreen ingredient on the marine environment.
Using sustainably-sourced ingredients, SunButter Sunscreen is SPF50 certified, provides broadspectrum coverage, and is 100% plant-based, reef-safe, vegan and cruelty-free! What’s more, their sunscreen comes in plastic-free packaging and there is even a SunButter upcycling campaign, which aims to promote a sustainable circular economy.
If you’re a lover of Australia’s coral reefs, what better way to show it than by mirroring its beautiful patterns and prints on your swimwear? Oh, and saving the planet one recycled plastic bottle at a time whilst you do it!
Established by Local Resident Justin Bauer after taking inspiration from the Nearby Ningaloo Reef, Ningaloo Swimwear uses the latest in sustainable materials and technologies to make its swimwear, clothing and accessories.
The sustainable range of Ningaloo Swimwear is made from Repreve fabric - a fibre made from recycled plastic bottles, which offsets the use of new petroleum, saves water and energy and emits fewer greenhouse gases than virgin fibres. This innovative and durable material also has water-repelling, sweat-wicking, adaptive warming and cooling, and chlorine-resisting properties.
It’s not just the fabric that’s sustainable. Every time you purchase a product from the Ningaloo Defenders or sustainable Repreve Swimwear range, 10% of the sales will be donated directly to organisations that actively protect and conserve the Australian coastal and marine environments, such as the coral reefs. Oh, and did we mention that they package their products in home-compostable post bags?
More Reef-Safe & Sustainable Products in Australia
We’ve only mentioned two, but there are so many great brands that make sustainable and reef-safe products in Australia. If you want to have a more positive impact on the planet you live on, then switching to eco-friendly commodities is the best way to go about it!