When engaging in outdoor activities, it is important to protect yourself from the elements, especially the sun. However, some of the products labelled safe for humans to use are not necessarily safe for the environment. For instance, if you’re visiting fragile ecosystems, like the Great Barrier Reef, you need to avoid toxic chemicals when looking for reef friendly sunscreen.

Organic Sunscreens

There are options for sun protection instead of using those with environmentally harmful ingredients. Instead, you can find organic sunscreens, most of which are entirely chemical-free. Some of the ingredients included in organic sunscreens are Aloe Vera, vitamin E and extracts like grape, cucumber, and green tea. If you’re concerned about the effectiveness of organic sunscreens, you can take other precautions when wearing environmentally friendly sunscreens.

Wear Protective Clothing

The best sun protection is to wear a hat to cover your face and clothing to prevent exposure to the sun. Although most clothing will shield you from the sun, there is clothing made with fabrics providing a SPF of 50. The fabrics are made with tight weaves to prevent the sun’s rays from reaching your skin and most sun safe clothing is usually made from Lycra, nylon, polyester or rayon blends.

Along with the fabrics, the color of your clothing can help protect your skin. Dark colors tend to absorb sun rays and heat, which makes you more uncomfortable. Light colors like white, light blues, yellows, and other pastel colors reflect the sun’s rays, so you don’t get as hot and the UV rays won’t be absorbed. Sun safe clothing is available in shirts, shorts, swimwear and rash guards for men, women and children.

Limiting your time in the sun and using a sun umbrella when you go to the beach will lessen your exposure to the sun and is environmentally friendly as well.