Your Sunscreen Is Destroying The Planet

Your Sunscreen Is Destroying The Planet

What are you going to do about it?
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Nobody likes to get sunburned, that’s a fact. We all hate it when we go to the beach and get a little to cocky on the first day, saying things like, “I’m dark enough not to get sunburnt.” Or, “I want to get tanned so I don’t need sunscreen.” And then we kick ourselves for the rest of the week, walking around in the weirdest clothes because they were easy to get on without touching the angry, red consequences of our arrogance.

And of course, everyone knows that sunburn is bad for you, beyond the burning and itching as the dead cells slough off (ew). The UV light your skin absorbs could cause skin cancer and damage to your skin-cells. All of this is a good reason to wear sunscreen when out in the sun for long periods of time, but here’s the catch. Your sunscreen-wearing habits are destroying our planet.

Hear me out, this isn’t going to be a global warming article so don’t leave yet. When you get in the water, 25% of your sunscreen washes off within the first 20 minutes or so. That’s why your mom always reminded you to reapply after playing in the water too long, right? And every time you do, you release 25% more Oxybenzone into the water.

Oxybenzone is an ingredient found in most sunscreens, and is responsible for absorbing the UVB and UVA radiation that would normally enter your skin cells. It is also responsible for coral bleaching and mass reef death. It causes the coral to reject the symbiotic organisms they need to survive, killing the coral and turning them into stiff white skeletons littering the sea floor. Just a few drops of this stuff is deadly to reefs. Imagine what happens when you dump over 5000 tons of it into the ocean every year.

There is good news, though. You don’t have to stop wearing sunscreen, in fact most scientists frown upon not wearing it, as it does offer important protection. Instead, you should be more aware of what kind of sunscreen you use. There are many sunscreens out there whose active ingredient is zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which are harmless to reef systems.

Studies have shown that zinc and titanium oxide sunscreens can actually be better for your skin than oxybenzone-based ones, too. However, if you don’t want to change your sunscreen, then consider wearing something like a wetsuit top to the beach, or any other long-sleeved beachwear that will cover and protect your skin from the sun.

The health of our coral reefs is directly indicative of the health of our world, so go and be a responsible beach-goer this summer. Your skin, and the planet, will thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Alexia Darnell

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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​The Motivation To Get Back To The Gym Only Comes From Yourself, Not Online Fitness Influencers

After a long winter break, are you ready to get back to grinding?

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My winter break was filled with time spent with friends, family, working, and of course, eating lots of food!

Too much food to be completely honest. My holiday food baby is still kicking with late night cravings, and endless amounts of french fries that I absolutely DO NOT need to keep consuming from different restaurants.

My latest excuse from bringing myself to the gym is from being too tired- although I work incredibly late (till around 2 A.M almost every night) I can't help but feel drained and empty the next morning to get myself up, and run 2 miles on the treadmill. It just doesn't make sense to me why I would do such a thing when my body is clearly over-exhausted from late nights at work.

Getting to the gym is like a mind game- you wanna go and get back into shape, but you feel restricted when you haven't been there in approximately 9 years. You have to get in the car that's freezing, walk into the gym filled with people who are in much better shape than you are, and find some way to get yourself motivated to get back on the grind you used to know and love before the holidays started.

Working out in this society is something many post about on social media, especially influencers. Fitness guru's flood Instagram and YouTube with the latest workout routines, as well as show off their "bikini body" and their body progress. This can easily make women who are not consistently going to the gym or eating health feel bad about themselves because they may not have the same body figure. Although it could be motivating to see others working out online, it could also be damaging to one's mental health when they don't have the same level of motivation or body figure.

It all comes down to your mindset and attitude about working out!

Sitting in bed waiting for yourself to just go back to the gym and pick up from where you left off isn't going to make the process any easier. Relaxation mode is completely different than the grinding mode, people! If you want something to change, whether it is to lose weight or just to tone certain parts of your body, it won't happen unless you put effort to do so. This means your body, but also your mind needs to be ready to make that change. If you are in the mindset that you want to sit back and relax, there is no doubt that you wouldn't have a good work out because the entire time you are tirelessly running or lifting, you would be wishing you were home in bed doing nothing.

Your mind needs to be equally as prepared to set goals for yourself in the weight room.

The best ways to motivate yourself to get back to the gym are pretty simple- changing your diet by including healthier options could help, drinking lots of water, and even putting on a pair of work-out leggings could put you in the mindset to get back to the gym. As long as you are working out to better yourself physically and mentally, and not comparing your body type to others on social media, you will feel more positive and get a better work out in rather than feeling the need to compete with others.

Working out regularly is about self-growth- it's about doing what you can to see the changes you want to make with your life. It won't happen overnight, but it is possible! It is finally 2019; a new year filled with new beginnings. Put yourself out there, get motivated, and do what you can to live a healthier lifestyle.

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