8 ways to make sure your day at the beach is environmentally friendly
Grab your bathing suit, towel, and trash bags! The first week of July is National Clean Beaches Week. And we’re here to celebrate with some easy tips, so that we can all soak up sunshine and honor the sand properly.
While we’re believers that beach-goers should be mindful to pick up after themselves every week at the beach, it’s important to be extra-aware in early July because it’s the most popular beach-time of the year. With happy families sitting on beach chairs and licking on popsicles, comes litter. And lots of it.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways we can take care of our beautiful beaches. Between using reef-safe sunscreen and investing in sustainable swimwear, here are 8 ways to have the most planet-friendly beach day.
8 ways to have a planet-friendly beach day
1. Pick up trash
Spot a bag of tortilla chips rolling on the sand? See a candy wrapper lodged between the rocks? Pick them up and feel good knowing you’re taking care of Mother Earth. And whether you live on the beach or hundreds of miles away from the shore, picking up trash in your neighborhood is a great way to get involved and do your part.
2. Let the shells be
We know it’s tempting to pick up a colorful shell as a souvenir, but leave it be. Shells provide homes for hermit crabs, nutrients for organisms living in the sand, and hiding spots for small fish. Needless to say, they’re more valued on the beach than they will be on any desk or nightstand.
3. Slather on reef-safe sunscreen
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Protect your skin and the planet by using reef-safe sunscreen. Instead of grabbing the sunblocks loaded with chemicals that are destructive to the environment, look out for eco-friendly options like Life Basics SPF 30 All Natural Sunscreen, which is also vegan-friendly.
4. Go plastic and disposable-free
Forget the plastic utensils and red cups. Bring reusable tote bags, utensils (check out our reusable bamboo knife, fork, and spoon set) , water bottles (like our “Less plastic, more love” glass bottle), you name it — it should be reusable. And try to be plastic-free whenever possible. According to National Geographic, every year about 18 billion pounds of plastic-waste invades the ocean from coastal regions. Don’t let your fun beach day contribute to that crazy-high statistic.
5. Play mindfully
All of the classic and beloved beach toys have eco-friendly alternatives. We love the Pocket Kite from Kite Company, which has bamboo struts and comes with a biodegradable bag. And this sand play set by Green Toys is BPA-free, PVC-free, and made out of 100 percent recycled plastic.
6. Invest in eco-conscious shades
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A good pair of sunglasses is a must for any day at the beach (gotta keep those eyes safe!). If you’re in the market for a new pair, check out Nectar Sunglasses, which donates a portion of every sale to The Bees Cause, which helps repopulate honeybees in the United States. Love bamboo sunnies? Checkout WearPanda’s designs.
7. Don’t feed the birds
Seagulls are awesome creatures. But tossing them fries and chips does more harm than help. Seagulls forage for fish and insects, so by giving them freebies we’re totally veering them in the wrong direction from their natural diet.
8. Swim in sustainable threads
Swimming has never been more chic or more environmentally-friendly! Vitamin A suits are made out of recycled plastic. And Fair Harbor not only makes suits from recycled water bottles, but also has a “Round Trip” program — they’ll send you a prepaid shipping label, so you can send them an old suit, which will be recycled and given a second life!
For more ways to stay planet-friendly this summer, don’t miss these other posts:
- Stay gorgeous all summer with these 7 cruelty-free beauty essentials
- Every recipe you need for the perfect vegan picnic (sangria, anyone?!)
- 5 vegan beach bag must-haves
Now that you have these beach tips, check out some of our other eco-friendly lists!
- 21 easy ways to make Earth Day every day
- 9 simple ways to phase plastic out of your life
- Looking for a new hobby? Give these 6 eco-friendly activities a try