I had the wonderful privilege of hosting Human Nature’s S.O.S. Coastival which was held at San Juan, La Union. It’s been more than two decades since I last set foot in La Union (shame on me). I remember snippets of when I was two and running around barefoot with my cousins. My dad says I was so scared of swimming in the ocean probably because it was unfamiliar territory. Of course, I’m good friends with the sea now! Heck, I enjoyed my last scuba diving trip!
Human Nature brought together media friends and influencers who can help get the word out about the current state of our oceans, our animal friends and the environment as a whole. Can you believe that even if we live in the city, our daily habits affect the ocean? That’s why you have to be more mindful of the products that you use. Plugging and endorsement aside, we should make it a habit to check the labels on products.
SLS/SLES (or: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate) are found in shampoos and soaps. It’s a skin irritant and toxic to aquatic organisms. Axe SLS & SLES. Switch to gentler, plant-derived cleansers.
Plastic microbeads (or: polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate) are found in facial scrubs and toothpaste. They stay up to 50 years in the environment, plus trillions of microbeads pollute our waters, get eaten by fish, and make their way up the food chain. Yes, to you and me. Ban the bead and scrub with love – use biodegradable exfoliants.
Oxybenzone (or: butylparaben, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor) is found in chemical sunscreens. Toxic to corals at the ratio of 1 drop in 6.5 Olympic-size swimming pools. Cease coral killing. Use physical sunscreens that contain reef-friendly zinc oxide instead.
Mineral oil (or: petroleum, petrolatum, paraffin) is found in makeup, lotions, conditioners and moisturizers. It’s a non-biodegradable by-product of fossil fuels, classified a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Ditch mineral oil and moisturize with plant-based oils instead.
Aside from the learning sessions, attendees also joined artist AG Saño in the creation of the 180-meter sand art which did not use any paint or cement.
There were also various booths from participating partners like Save Philippines Seas, WWF for Nature Philippines, CURMA, La Union Soul, Meg Magazine (I loved their free buko and of course, a free magazine!!), Bayani Brew and Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit. We also had our dose of exercises for the afternoon as Planet Zips‘ Paolo Soler led the poi workshop, Corey Wills took care of the yoga class while Formado Pirulito of Escola Brasileira de Capoeira stretched our muscles and challenged our coordination skills with the capoeira workshop. Check out my VLOG below: