What to Bring to the Beach? — A Sustainable Guide
With July nearly upon us, we’re nearing the height of summer now and we all know there’s no better way to cool off in Hong Kong than hitting the beach. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, what's not to love? But if you’re as forgetful as me, maybe you’re a little worried about what to pack. Don’t sweat it, we’re here with 5 things you should definitely bring on your next trip to the beach:
A water bottle is always useful to have, but especially so at the beach where you’re bound to get thirsty. Sure, you could buy some upcharged soda from the beverage stand, but why not save yourself the trouble and money and bring a reusable water bottle with you? After all, there’s nothing quite like cool bottled water.
Most HK beaches also have public water fountains nearby where you can refill whenever you’re running low, so be sure to check out the HK Water for Free app for refill locations before your day out. (Note: many public water fountains may be temporarily closed at the moment due to COVID risk).
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While most public beaches in Hong Kong will have bins for you to discard your rubbish, if you’re planning on going to a more secluded beach it may not be so easy for you. These lesser visited beaches can offer rare and beautiful sights, but also come at the cost of convenience. You’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere to responsibly discard your trash in places like these, so if you’re planning on visiting a more secluded beach make sure to bring some kind of garbage bag.
It can be anything from an old paper bag to a fabric tote, so long as it carries your rubbish. The last thing you want to spend your beach day doing is holding on to used plastic wrappers because there's no trash can nearby.
Direct sunlight is no joke. Nobody likes getting sunburned and we all know UV rays can damage our body in serious ways. Thankfully, we have tools like sunscreen and sunglasses to protect us while we’re at the beach. Just make sure when you’re applying sunscreen at the beach it’s one that’s reef-safe, meaning it doesn’t contain any chemicals that can harm marine life.
Hong Kong’s precious reef ecosystems are something we want to protect and that means making sure we don’t introduce unnatural chemicals into the oceans where they don’t belong. You can check if your sunscreen is reef-safe by taking a look at the ingredients used: While chemical-based sunscreens will contain compounds toxic to reefs like octinoxate, avobenzone and oxybenzone, mineral based sunscreens use natural mineral ingredients harmless to corals and other marine life.
Even if they don’t seem like it, water shoes are absolutely a must for a Hong Kong beach outing, especially if you’re planning on going a little farther in. Hard-soled water shoes will protect you from the many sharp barnacles and shellfish naturally found on the seafloor, but also any glass shards and debris you might come across. It’s for this reason that they are so important as they can be the difference between a fun day in the water and a trip to the doctor.
We’re often a lot more vigilant with protecting and keeping our skin hydrated than we are with our lips. But really, our lips are just as important as our skin. So make sure you don't forget to bring a stick of lip balm with you to the beach.
Everyone hates having to deal with chapped lips, so even if you don’t think you’ll need it, bring some lip balm just in case. You never know when it’ll come in handy.
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Take your sustainability journey further by learning our top 10 ways to be more sustainable in Hong Kong!