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The Zubeida's best tips on how to keep our beaches clean and oceans safe

Imagine walking down cool white sands, listening to the calming waves gently lap at the shore, and the sun warming your back. Soothing right? Your toe hits something, and you look down, expecting to see a beautiful lilac seashell, gleaming in the morning light. What you find is plastic waste, coming onto the sand. This is the sad reality of many beaches.

Here's what you can do when you find a part of the beach in need of a serious cleanup, wherever you are in the world together with some tips you can follow as an individual to create less waste: protecting our oceans more effectively.

1. Sunscreen and hydration: Slather on a reef sunscreen to protect yourself from the harsh rays of the sun, especially if your cleanup is going to be longer than a few hours. Sunscreen is essential to protect your skin, scalp and the ocean too! Carry a reusable water bottle and keep sipping. This also applies to any and every beach day!

2. A hat and gloves: A hat is a great idea for any time you are on the beach, but especially during cleanups. Heatstroke and sunburn are very real dangers and you should actively protect yourself against them. Gloves are a great way to protect your hands: you never know what you'll find lurking beneath the sand: types of waste found can even include sharp objects like needles and syringes that were not disposed off carefully the first time.

3. Trash bags: This tip is great for any type of travelling you do- if you always have a trash bag with you, you'll have less of an excuse to litter. Not only will you be able to safely dispose of all the rubbish you might generate, but you'll also be able to pick up other trash you find safely and effectively.

4. Reuse: Carry all your items in reuseable packaging to avoid single-use plastic waste. Not only does this prevent bags and other wrappings to fly into the ocean, it allows you to preplan your entire day in food and drink.

5. Cigarette Butts: One of the leading polluters in our oceans, leaching chemicals into our waters and poisoning marine life. If you have the urge to smoke beside the beach (or anywhere else), throw away the butts responsibly.

6. Single-Use Plastic: did you know teabags, q-tips, and wet wipes are all made of plastic and are not biodegradable? Making small sustainable shifts in your households will definitely have far-reaching impacts- protecting our waterways, sewage systems and ultimately our oceans and seas.

7. Rethink your cleaning products: All our cleaning products go down into our drains, into the sewage systems and end up in our oceans. Is it possible to phase out your toxic cleaning products and replace them with products that are just as effective but better for our planet?

What sustainable tips can you share with us?

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