7 Small, Impactful Ways to Help Keep the
Ocean Clean

Covering more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, the oceans are immense, but they are not invulnerable. Pollution is a very real problem that can have a crippling effect on marine ecosystems and the humans who depend on them. How big is the problem? Plastics, chemicals and other trash combine with noise and light pollution, causing disruption, damage and death. For example, ocean water’s pH changes as it absorbs carbon emissions. Under the current emissions standards, oceans are acidifying at an accelerated pace that is faster than anything seen in 300 million years, a change that is causing significant issues for marine flora and fauna. Meanwhile, trash is making its way into the oceans at an alarming rate. A belt of nonbiodegradable plastic trash now hovers in the northern Pacific Ocean, spanning a 1000-mile area. Farther south, scientists, watermen and seafood aficionados watch warily as a dead zone that is roughly the size of New Jersey forms in the Gulf of Mexico each summer, and these are far from the only trouble spots.

People love to spend time in areas where the water and the shore come together. Many communities strive to keep these spaces clean to protect both the environment and their tourism industry, but some seas are notoriously dirty. Where would you find the world’s filthiest seashores? According to studies, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are home to the world’s dirtiest seas. However, the problem isn’t just a local one. Even people who never see the sea can be impacted as negative changes in the marine environment lead to alterations in weather patterns, changes in the food supply and shakeups in various economic factors. Fortunately, there are efforts to curtail pollution and keep the oceans clean.

International Laws that Protect the Ocean

Governments around the globe are recognizing the importance of protecting the oceans. A variety of laws and treaties have been passed to aid this effort:

  • The Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter of 1972, which is often referred to as the London Convention, was one of the earliest international efforts to keep ocean clean via legal agreement. The treaty requires contracting partners to prevent pollution and practice responsible waste management. It also banned the dumping of hazardous materials.
  • In 2006, participants in the London Convention launched a new treaty, the London Protocol. Intended to update and eventually replace its predecessor, it prohibits incineration at sea, the export of waste for the purposes of marine dumping, and the dumping of any waste not listed in Annex I of the London Protocol.
  • The Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study the environmental impact of the improper disposal of plastics and work to identify ways to reduce or eliminate any negative effects.
  • The Clean Water Act forbids the discharge of oil or other hazardous substances into the ocean and most U.S. waters. It also allows the government to punish corporate polluters with fines and other penalties.
  • The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 protects the oceans and other waters and the air and land. This far-reaching act requires U.S. government agencies to evaluate the environmental effects of any major federal actions, including those taken under agency permits, that are likely to significantly impact the environment. In addition, NEPA sets out requirements for public notice and commenting. These requirements keep the public informed, offer opportunities for citizens and organizations to evaluate these proposed actions, and provide a time and place for them to voice any concerns.

7 Impactful Ways to Keep the Ocean Clean

Government commitment and oversight can be a powerful force when it comes to preventing marine pollution, especially when it is carried out under the watchful eyes of a concerned public. However, governmental actions are not the only way to make a difference. Individuals can also protect the health of the ocean. It doesn’t require major sacrifices or huge time commitment. There are several small steps that anyone can take to help to keep the ocean a little cleaner:

  1. Spread the word about the importance of ocean preservation. Speaking up about the value of clean oceans and the need to make stewardship a shared responsibility is powerful. Share your love of the ocean and the damage that pollution does in conversations and discussions. Attend community meetings and work sessions that involve projects with environmental impact. Join cleanup drives and fundraisers with friends. Is there a distinct lack of opportunities in your area? Consider getting the ball rolling by joining with established groups to organize events in your hometown.
  2. Reduce energy use. With carbon emissions having such a strong impact on the oceans, shrinking your carbon footprint can make a difference. Reducing your energy use is a great way to do this, and it has the added benefit of lower energy bills.
  3. Refuse single-use items. Plastic bags, straws and other single-use trash often ends up in the oceans. Opting for reusable products reduces the amount of trash, so there’s less waste that might make its way into the ocean.
  4. Opt for organic household products instead of chemical products. Chemical contamination may be harder to see than plastic waste, but it can be just as harmful. Choosing organic products can help to keep hazardous chemicals out of your life and out of the oceans.
  5. Dispose of waste in an environmentally safe way.  Thanks to realities like runoff and the water cycle, trash thrown just about anywhere can have an impact on the oceans. While it may seem harmless, the effects of the improper disposal of waste can snowball. Protect your health and the marine environment by making a sincere effort to reduce the amount of trash that you produce and taking care to dispose of any waste in an environmentally friendly way.
  6. Be considerate of marine life. Humans often enjoy spending time on or around the water, making coastlines popular vacation spots. For marine life, the oceans are more than a great place to play; they’re home. When you’re in or around the water, be a good guest. Be considerate of marine life and make an effort to preserve the area and minimize any disruption.
  7. Do water sports responsibly. Water sports are an excellent way to enjoy being outside, hone your athletic skills and get some fun exercise. Acting responsibly while you’re engaging in the sport of your choice helps to ensure that the ocean will remain a viable place to play for years to come.

More than 97% of the Earth’s water is found in the oceans, and the fish that are harvested from these waters provide the largest percentage of protein in human diets. Clearly, the health of the oceans has a direct impact on the well-being of humans. In fact, death and disease resulting from polluted coastal waters cost the global economy some $12.8 billion each year. Fortunately, governments, organizations and individuals who love the water can step up to help turn the tide and protect the marine environment. Platinum Sun was born from our love of both extreme water sports and the waves that serve as our favorite playground. When you need top-quality gear that allows you to participate in water sports responsibly, you’ll find it at platinum-sun.com. Stop by today to explore the possibilities.

A Guide to UPF Apparel

(What is UPF and why is it important to know what protection level to choose)

Sun protection is imperative for anyone who spends time outdoors. An estimated 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are directly associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun. The most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, is diagnosed in approximately 4.3 million Americans each year. Sunscreen lotions work well to block cancer-causing radiation, but they require frequent re-application and can stain clothing. For many people, especially those who frequent the beach or engage in watersports, a garment with a UPF rating is a more practical choice.
One of the greatest benefits of UPF clothing is the consistent coverage it offers to those who need maximum protection from the sun. Many of us have very fair skin and can burn quite easily. The strongest sunscreens can prevent burning, but they only do so when re-applied at regular intervals. Even when a person is fastidious about re-applying sunscreen, it can be rubbed off when playing in the sand, lounging on floatation devices, or paddling a surfboard. Surfers popularized rash guards, which are shirts worn to limit chest and arm abrasion from paddling a surfboard. A long-sleeved, UPF-rated rash guard also provides excellent protection against UV radiation for the entire upper body, and they have become very popular with snorkelers, open-water swimmers, and non-surfing beach aficionados of all kinds.
Strange as it may sound, UPF clothing also provides ecological benefits by limiting the need for sunscreen. When a person swims in the ocean with sunscreen on, chemicals like oxybenzone are released into the water. Oxybenzone is highly toxic for marine life, and it is so powerful that a single drop in more than 4 million gallons of water* can endanger marine organisms. It is particularly dangerous for coral reefs as it disrupts their reproduction and growth cycles and ultimately leads to bleaching. Mineral particles in sunscreen also contribute to coral bleaching as they catalyze the production of hydrogen peroxide in ocean waters.
Even when sunscreen users don’t go swimming, their sunscreen is eventually washed down a drain when they shower. And when beach-goers use aerosol sunscreens, much of it gets sprayed onto the sand and eventually gets washed into the ocean. A 2016 article** in the scientific journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology estimates that as much as 14,000 tons of sunscreen ends up in our oceans each year.
While UPF clothing can limit the use of sunscreens, it is also important to pay attention to the contents of any sunscreen that is applied to the face, hands, and any other exposed areas. Many companies now manufacture “reefsafe” sunscreens that don’t contain harmful chemicals, and these should be used at all times.

What Is UPF?

UPF is an abbreviation for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, and it’s a standard used to measure the amount of sun protection afforded by fabrics. It is a relatively new standard; sun-protective clothing had originally been rated with the familiar SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that is still used within the context of sunscreen products. Because the use of UPF is voluntary according to Federal Trade Commission rules, there are some clothing manufacturers who still use SPF to rate their products. However, universal application of the standard can be expected in the future.

A fabric’s UPF rating is an indication of the percentage of ultraviolet (UV) light that is blocked by a fabric. The rating system uses a range of numbers from 15 to 50 to denote the percentages. For example, a fabric with a rating of 50 blocks approximately 98% of UV, and a fabric with a rating of 15 blocks approximately 93% of UV.
UPF ratings make it easy for a consumer to decide on a particular rating that suits them. A person with a lower risk factor may opt for a garment with a rating of 15, whereas someone who is concerned with maximum protection would choose a rating of 50. It is important to note that in either case, the consumer is getting significant sun protection. For the average person, it is not necessary to fret too much over the differences between, for example, 25 and 40. Garments with either rating will provide significant UV protection.

Caring for UPF Fabrics

Clothing with UPF-rated sun protection does require a bit of care to retain its effectiveness. Here are a few simple guidelines to extend the life of sun-protective clothing:

  • Wash or thoroughly rinse UPF garments after use in saltwater or chlorinated pools.
  • When machine washing UPF garments, always use cold water and a gentle cycle.
  • Use only mild detergents.
  • Dry garments flat or hang them to dry but avoid placing them in direct sunlight when drying.
  • Never tumble dry UPF garments, and never dry clean or iron them.
  • Do not wring out UPF garments. If they are soaking wet, wrap them in a towel to absorb the excess water.

A Guide for Neoprene Products (How to extend the longevity of the neoprene products)

Neoprene is the perfect material for those who love living life on or in the water. It is probably best known as the material from which wetsuits are made. Offering built-in sun protection and welcome water-resistance so that you stay drier and warmer, it helps you stay comfortable while surfing, boating, kitesurfing or engaging in other water sports so that you can spend more time enjoying the activities that you love. Neoprene ranges in thickness from 0.5 mm for relatively warm weather and water to 6 mm, which is reserved for the coldest of conditions. Because even the thinnest neoprene is actually thick relative to most other fabrics, it is highly effective at blocking UV rays without the need for added chemicals or dyes.
Top-quality neoprene gear is an excellent investment, and like any investment, you’ll want to take care of it properly to ensure that its lifespan is as long as possible. What care does neoprene need to provide you with many years of reliable service?

What Is Neoprene?

Neoprene is a durable, flexible synthetic rubber that is used for a variety of garments for watersports. Formed via a chemical process, neoprene is a type of closed cell foam rubber. The cells are actually tiny bubbles of gas, typically nitrogen, that are scattered throughout the material. These closed cells help deliver neoprene’s signature benefits. They slow the transfer of heat, providing the insulating properties that help those wearing garments made from the material stay warmer. Because they are closed, the cells help prevent saturation, delivering both buoyancy and water-resistance.
While the material offers many advantages, neoprene does have its weaknesses. Heat, chlorine and salt water can all degrade neoprene. Fortunately, proper care can help you safeguard items made from neoprene so that they’ll last longer.

Neoprene Washing Instructions

Natural bodies of water are filled with a variety of microbes and contaminants. Swimming pools trade these menaces for chlorine’s sting. Neither of these substances are things that you want lingering on your gear. As a result, it is best to hone the habit of rinsing out your neoprene gear with cool, fresh water as soon as possible after every use. This helps to wash away damaging residues and aids in the prevention of odor issues.
While you may be able to get by with rinsing for a little while, there will come a time when you’ll want to thoroughly clean your items. Never throw neoprene in the washing machine and hope for the best. Instead, check the care instructions that came with the gear. If in doubt, hand wash the items in cool or lukewarm water using detergents that are specifically designed for neoprene.

Drying Neoprene Products

Drying neoprene items thoroughly before storing them is vital if you want to avoid unpleasant consequences like mildew and foul odors. Neoprene doesn’t fare well when exposed to heat, so it’s no surprise that you can’t use a clothes dryer to remove any dampness lingering after it’s been washed. What should you do? Carefully hang the item in a place where it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Then, allow it to air dry. Use a sturdy hanger, and try to avoid creases or folds whenever possible.

What If Neoprene Wrinkles?

When folded and subjected to pressure, neoprene is prone to wrinkles and creases. That’s why gear made from this material should be stored hanging flat rather than crammed into a drawer. What if it wrinkles? Since avoiding heat is vital to safeguarding your neoprene, using an iron to combat wrinkles is definitely out. Fortunately, there are other methods. With minor wrinkling, you may find that the wearing the item and getting it wet is all that is necessary to smooth the fabric. For stubborn creases, stretch the neoprene out on a flat surface like a table or floor, smooth the material with your hands, and wait 24 hours. If that doesn’t work, gently stretch the material. Keep it pulled taut for at least 24 hours to allow the material to breathe and release the creases.

What If Odors Develop?

If you really worked up a sweat by playing hard, forgot to rinse off after a long day or failed to completely dry your neoprene before storing it, you may discover that your gear has developed an unpleasant odor. Oils from human skin can damage neoprene over the long term, and without regular rinsing, neoprene can develop bad odors. When even a good, thorough cleaning doesn’t eliminate the smell, it’s time to take things a step farther. Use a deodorizer designed for neoprene. These products utilize odor-eating microbes and enzymes to eradicate bad smells at their source.

What If It Rips?

Designed for active people, neoprene gear is the perfect companion for your adventures. The tough, protective material is fairly durable, but if things get especially rough, you may discover small rips or cuts in it. Don’t panic. There are various adhesive kits designed for repairing neoprene, so it is easy to fix minor tears. Some repair kits can even be used in the field for quick, on-the-go repairs.

Tips for Extending the Longevity of Neoprene

Neoprene can make a day spent on or near the water more fun and comfortable, so it’s no wonder that it is favored by boaters, fans of water sports, and people who want to protect their skin from the sun and other hazards while enjoying the water. Neoprene is a reasonably durable material, but it does require considerable care in order to ensure a long life. If you want to get the most from your gear, following a few simple tips for extending the longevity of neoprene can help:

  • Chose well-designed products made from top-quality materials.
  • To enhance your comfort and avoid unnecessary strain, be mindful of fit.
  • Never leave neoprene in a hot vehicle.
  • Avoid aerosols, chemical solvents, oil and gasoline; they can stain and weaken the material.
  • Always rinse neoprene gear promptly after using it. Never use hot water to rinse or clean neoprene. Always use cool or tepid water.
  • Never machine wash a neoprene garment. Neoprene can tear if it is stretched by an agitator.
  • Use only cleaning products that are designed for neoprene.
  • Keep neoprene away from potential heat sources.
  • Never put neoprene gear away while it is still wet. To dry a neoprene garment, turn it inside out and hang it from a thick, padded hanger. Wire hangers can damage the fabric.
  • Avoid folding or compressing neoprene gear.
  • Full wetsuits are very tight fitting, and they can sometimes be a struggle to put on and take off. Because neoprene can sometimes tear more easily than other materials, there are a few tricks for safely putting on and removing wetsuits:
    • Place a plastic bag over your foot before sliding it into the leg of a wetsuit. Then remove it and repeat the process with the other foot. Plastic bags slide easily over neoprene.
    • Turn your wetsuit inside out and roll it onto your body.
    • If the water isn’t too cold, put your wetsuit on while in the water.
    • Use a water-based lubricant to help the wetsuit slide over your body.
    • Remove a wetsuit by rolling it down your body. If another person is available to help, have them gently pull the suit down your legs and past your feet.
    • The most important consideration is that pulling too hard on a tight-fitting wetsuit can tear the neoprene. When pulling a wetsuit on, pull only in short segments and avoid digging into the material with your fingernails. If you do tear a wetsuit, neoprene offers a distinct advantage over other types of material: Special adhesives are available that allow you to repair small tears with relative ease. For larger tears, there are a number of companies that specialize in neoprene repair. 

Platinum Sun’s commitment to quality and creative design is guided by a focus on you: our customers. Inspired by our love of sun, water, the beach, and extreme sports, our products are designed to keep you stylishly comfortable while you make the most of your fun, healthy, active lifestyle. Share with us any other tips that we might have missed or any useful info about your neoprene products!

5 Things to Love About Platinum Sun

I wear rash guards more than I even wear shoes. Most of mine have been freebies from various events that I have participated in. I am in the water about 300 days per year (seriously). That being said, 5 months might as well be a lifetime.

Why I Wanted to Kitesurf…

Sal in Cape Verde is probably a kiteboarders’s dream spot: golden sandy beaches, blue skies, warm crystal clear water, 20 knot trade winds all day every day, and the local break Ponta Preta, training ground to the likes of world champions Mitu Monteiro and Airton Cozzolino. Since my love for the ocean has never stopped growing, I can now Windsurf, Kiteboard, Surf, Body board, Scuba Dive, Paddleboard, Free dive, water ski and wakeboard, and enjoy them all loads, even though sometimes I spend more time in the water than I do on the actual board!

Surf Expo – an important launch pad for Platinum Sun

This is a late thank you note to everyone who has made our start in the big Surf World a huge success.   SurfExpo is without a doubt the richest environment to make invaluable connections within the industry. There is no substitute for this experience; if you’re not at the SurfExpo, then you’re not a player in the industry.Like many great companies, we started our business in the garage and are very proud of it. Now I can assure you that we not only have talented designers for our rash guards, neoprene jackets and wetsuits in our team, but we also movers, handymen, construction superintendents and event coordinators.

We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the interest and excitement about our designer rashguards, not only from retail buyers, but also from industry professional organizations. Four days at the Surf Expo as a first time attendee provided us with a lot of motivation for the future as well as a lasting desire to satisfy your hunger for more! Our collection of designer rashguards will stay and become more sexy, stylish and will protect your skin during your next Extreme Water session. Sign up for updates and follow us on social media to stay in touch!

Thank you everyone for being a great support and we will see you in 2015!

How to choose a Rash Guard Properly

In this article you will learn about what a rash guard is and why it is important to know about all of the Rash Guards styles and uses.