With tourism on the rise in Greece, the challenge of preserving the natural beauty of the country is increasing. Hordes of tourists may be great for the local economy, but careless holiday-makers have the potential to disrupt the environment and make it difficult for the ecosystem to recover. If you’re visiting the islands or the mainland for a dream beach getaway, make it a mindful and respectful holiday by following these environmentally friendly tips.
The 2 Minute Beach Clean initiative was launched in 2014 in the UK and has since grown to become a global movement. The idea is to encourage everybody to help save marine life, even if they only have a few minutes. As they explain on their website, “It doesn’t matter if you do two minutes or 30. Each and every piece of marine plastic removed from the beach is a piece that will no longer go on to kill.” When visiting beautiful Greek beaches this summer, make an effort to spend two minutes every day picking up plastic that you find.
Sunscreen is important for protecting yourself on the beach; however, choosing an ecological sunscreen enables you to protect the planet too. Some sunscreens contain toxins that are damaging to marine life, especially coral. Brands such as Green People and Aethic offer natural, eco-friendly and non-toxic sunscreens to promote an environmentally friendly beach trip. Aethic is also the only brand to have invented a Marine Positive formula for super eco-friendly kudos.
While sipping an iced coffee on the beach may be one of the highlights of Greek summertime, the damage that plastic straws can do to marine life is certainly not. If you want to be a good and mindful holiday-maker this summer, invest in a metal straw (and for extra good beach vibes, a reusable cup) and bring it with you to the beach. That way you can sip on delicious, refreshing drinks all day long while limiting your negative impact on the environment.
This Burning Man festival mantra is one that should be adopted for your Greek beach holiday too – when you leave the beach, clean up after yourself so that there is no trace of you being there. That means collecting your cigarette butts, bottles and litter after you go and, if you are on a more remote beach, also being mindful about the landscape and not damaging the natural rhythm of the place.
Staying hydrated on the beach is key, and there’s no shortage of places selling bottles of water. However, for a more environmentally friendly approach to beach adventures, choose to bring a reusable bottle with you rather than buying and recycling. The Refill station app alerts thirsty beachgoers in Greece to the nearest place to fill up their water bottle for free.
Fresh water is often in short supply on the Greek islands, especially on the more popular islands such as Mykonos and Santorini. Yet after a long day of sun and sea, a cold fresh-water shower is always longed for. Opt for a quick splash rather than a lengthy rinse in order to conserve the precious supplies.
Even before heading to the beach this summer, you can choose to make eco-friendly choices. Increasingly, fashion brands are offering sustainable products as part of their main lines, and swimwear is no exception. For an affordable option, try Weekday’s sustainable swimwear line, which is created to suit every body shape too. The brand offers menswear and womenswear in a mix of bold block colours and more statement prints if you want to stand out on the beach.