On our kit lists we ask and encourage our volunteers to bring eco-friendly, biodegradable products:
Biodegradable soap/shampoo – Please only bring biodegradable soaps to minimise impact on the environment – most bathing in the forest is done in or beside the river.
Insect repellent – For any projects where you will be handling or in close proximity to animals (in particular amphibians) you will need a non DEET based repellent. However, for other times DEET based repellents are fine.
Sunblock – Factor 30, minimum, is recommended. Please ensure it is a coral friendly sunblock if you intend to use it in the water.
We’ve all seen ‘No more tears’ or ‘Kind to hair’ being advertised on toiletries, but what about being kind to the environment! Unfortunately, there is a lack of regulation around the terms ‘reef-safe’ and ‘eco-friendly’. Furthermore, even if some brands claim to sell eco-friendly products, please remember that plastic is not eco-friendly and defeats the point of what’s in the bottle, however good it is. With all of this in mind, it can be a minefield trying to work out what products to purchase!
But fear not, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite brands to help you choose the best products for you and for the environment!
Please purchase coral-friendly products. At present there is no mutually agreed definition of ‘reef-safe’. You can usually see a coral-friendly symbol on the bottle but please be weary of this and read the ingredients anyway, just to be sure. Titanium dioxide does not contribute to coral bleaching whereas oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone, octocrylene and octinoxate for example are harmful to the reef.
Stream2Sea is proudly the only product in the world that is actually tested and proven to be safe for coral larvae and both saltwater and freshwater fish. Stream2Sea has a huge range of various eco-conscious and biodegradable products; sunscreen, leave-in conditioner, conditioning shampoo & bodywash, and even sun & sting relief gel to name but a few. These sustainable products have sustainable packaging too!
Mosi-guard® is a long-lasting, plant-based insect repellent. It is said to be the most successful and widely used natural insect repellent. Citriodiol is the active ingredient, a natural extract derived from the oil of lemon eucalyptus. This DEET-free alternative is scientifically proven to be just as effective as synthetic insect repellents and lasts just as long.
Lush has an excellent range of both solid shampoos and conditioners, as well as soap bars. The cork pot is the perfect companion for these are they great for travelling and stop your bar from getting soggy! Lush has a strong environmental policy in place and are committed to becoming more sustainable, welcoming new regulations that genuinely reduce their impact. One of their passions is to get rid of packaging, having saved nearly 6 million plastic bottles worldwide through the selling of their shampoo bars alone. They also prefer to use ingredients that are produced in a sustainable way! To learn more, go check out Lush’s website and their full environmental policy.
Fun fact, Green People are based out of Knepp and proudly use sustainably grown plant ingredients which are clinically proven to care for your skin. They are registered with EcoCert – an organisation who certify cosmetics to organic and natural standards and highlight the best socially conscious and environmentally friendly practices. Green People offer a huge range of products from shampoos and conditioners to sunscreens and toothpastes.
Shade™ is one of the UK’s top ethical sunscreens. With only four natural ingredients – organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, non-nano zinc oxide, and sustainable beeswax – Shade™ sunscreen is a brilliant sunscreen safe for all skin types. They use plastic-free packaging and ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients, free from microplastics.
For more ideas and inspiration for your expedition, head over to your ‘Training Page’ and click on ‘Opwall Environmentally Friendly Alternatives’. Happy shopping!