Sunday, January 21, 2018
Consumer

This summer, be a greener beach bum

Are you one of millions who will enjoy some of the summer sun at the beach? Did you know that some of the choices we make at home and while on vacation can actually contaminate the very same waters we can't wait to get in? Here are some ways to become a greener beach bum this year.

It all starts at home

Even if you live miles away from the beach, you could still be polluting our waters. That's because what you let go down the drain, or put on your lawn and garden can actually wind up in the sea. So what's a beach lover to do? First, don't let household hazardous waste get in our water supply. It could be by keeping motor oil out of storm drains, properly disposing of our pets' waste or making sure grease doesn't go down the sink. All those things lead to contamination. Excess nutrients are another major source of contamination. When we use too much fertilizer on our yard, the excess is picked up by stormwater runoff and dumped right into our waterways. This nutrient overload causes blooms of algae that remove oxygen from the water. That literally chokes the life from vital water creatures that help improve the water's quality.

Be informed about your particular beach

Do you know how dirty — or clean — your favorite beach is? You might feel a little seasick once you find out how your beach ranks in terms of water quality. High amounts of bacterial pollution actually accounted for more than 24,000 beach closings and advisories in 2010. Bacterial pollution in our beach waters is a major health concern because it can give swimmers everything from pink eye to hepatitis. Keep track of what is going on at your destination by checking out the National Resource Defense Council's updated guide (nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/data-check.asp) or the EPA's online quality reports (water.epa.gov/).

Take care while you're there

Taking care of our beautiful beaches doesn't end once we arrive. My beach trick is to pack a picnic basket for my family. I fill it with snacks in reusable containers and reusable water bottles. When we're done for the day, I toss it all back in the basket and bring it back home. No need to worry about taking items to the trash or leaving them behind. If you must go the disposable route, find cutlery and cups made from recycled plastic. The critical thing is that all the items get disposed of properly and nothing winds up in the water where it can hurt marine life and water quality.

Comments
New festival couples fitness with weddings and Tampa Indie Flea gets new digs

New festival couples fitness with weddings and Tampa Indie Flea gets new digs

Perfect Coupling: VKNG Boho Wedding FestivalEveryone wants to look and feel their best on their wedding day, so it's common for those who don't normally work out to join a gym or hire a trainer as soon as the date is set. But finding the right exerci...
Published: 01/18/18
You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

You can buy the balls from Amalie’s Beach Tampa exhibit at auction

More than 100,000 people showed up at Amalie Arena in 2016 to frolic in a huge ball pit. It was a sea of 1.2 million white orbs so vast that grown men could belly flop and remain afloat. Almost two years after the Beach Tampa packed up, some 15,000 l...
Published: 01/18/18
Find your end of days outfit this weekend, and more

Find your end of days outfit this weekend, and more

END OF DAYS GLAM: APOCALIPSTICKThe end of the world might seem like unusual theme for a Cocktails and Couture event, but if you consider the epic costumes from the Mad Max movies, it's actually super cool. The fashion event, cleverly named Apocalipst...
Published: 01/11/18
5 things to do under $5: Tampa music history, Suncoast Arts Festival

5 things to do under $5: Tampa music history, Suncoast Arts Festival

1 Suncoast Arts Festival: Acclaimed electric rock string quintet Violectric, above, headlines Saturday (3:40-5:40 p.m.) at this two-day fine arts event featuring more than 130 artisans, live entertainment and a kids art garden at the Shops at Wiregra...
Published: 01/10/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Meet the monster trucks: Free truck displays around Tampa Bay

Meet the monster trucks: Free truck displays around Tampa Bay

Before Monster Jam invades Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, some of the show’s biggest stars will be on display across the Tampa Bay area. You can and take pictures with the 12-foot-tall, 10,000-pound monster trucks at the following free appearance...
Published: 01/10/18
5 things to do under $5: Kite festival, Florida Manatee Festival

5 things to do under $5: Kite festival, Florida Manatee Festival

1 Treasure Island Sport Kite Festival: The annual competition returns to the beach behind the Thunderbird Resort, filling the sky with kites as flyers perform to music at this two-day event. There will be dual-line and multi-line sport kite flying in...
Published: 01/10/18
Disney theme park deal for Florida residents returns, but the price climbs

Disney theme park deal for Florida residents returns, but the price climbs

January once again brings a Florida resident ticket deal from Walt Disney World, though the price continues to climb. Florida residents can get three days at a Walt Disney World theme park for $159 per person, and add a fourth day for $20 more per pe...
Updated one month ago
Plan your weekend: Marvel Universe Live, School of Rock, Epiphany in Tarpon Springs, Tom Petty tribute

Plan your weekend: Marvel Universe Live, School of Rock, Epiphany in Tarpon Springs, Tom Petty tribute

Plan your weekend   Superheroes Marvel Universe Live: Marvel first paired up with the Ringling Bros’ production company Feld Entertainment in 2014 to create its first live action stunt show. The gang’s back together for the second edit...
Updated one month ago
5 under $5: American Stage’s Under 20 Passport begins, Nerf gun wars, meet the ‘ToyMakerz’

5 under $5: American Stage’s Under 20 Passport begins, Nerf gun wars, meet the ‘ToyMakerz’

1 Under 20 Free Passport: American Stage is starting the year off with a deal aimed at creating young theater fans. The Under 20 Free Passport allows people under 20 to get into mainstage productions at no cost. And a new Under 30 Pass offers patrons...
Updated one month ago
Top things to do this week: Marvel Universe Live, comedian Brad Garrett, Epiphany

Top things to do this week: Marvel Universe Live, comedian Brad Garrett, Epiphany

SUPERHEROES: Marvel Universe LiveMarvel fans, assemble! The multibillion-dollar juggernaut paired up with the Ringling Bros. production company Feld Entertainment in 2014 to create its first live action stunt show. The gang’s back together for the se...
Updated one month ago