Summer is finally here and we are just ready to head to our closest beach and work on our vitamin-d intake! We all know however that our seaside environment is very delicate and in recent decades has been suffering due to many issues, from plastic pollution discarded in the sea to toxic chemicals that make their ways into the ocean, killing sea creatures and plants, as well as posing a risk to human health.
We can all play an important role in protecting and preserving the beauty and health of our seas, and to make things easier we have compiled 10 tips you can easily follow during your next trip to the beach.
There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that your peachy tan was also respectful of the planet!
It’s absolutely insane how many plastic water bottles we use every day. These single-use products are one of the most wasteful plastic things ever, and they are used by billions of people every day, and then discarded in landfills or in our ocean. All it takes is an effortless swap, and they are perfect for the beach as they will keep your water fresh for longer under the sun- unlike plastic bottles -and you can refill them easily anywhere, from petrol stations to cafés to fountains at the beach. Bringing your own water bottle is also a simple, one-time investment that will save you money and waste in the long run.
2. Don’t forget to pack some eco-friendly straws
I know, you have worked all year long dreaming about lovely sunsets on the beach sipping your favourite cocktail. Who says that can’t be good for our planet too? Just make sure you ask for your drink in a glass rather than a disposable plastic cup, and say no to plastic straws. Bring your own reusable ones, our favourite is the ones made in bamboo, as they are not only naturally antibacterial and lightweight, but they can also be fully composted at the end of life! And they will never harm any turtles or dolphins!
3. Pack your lunch in reusable containers
A recent survey has found that Britain produces about 11 billion items of plastic packaging waste every year due to the very common habit of getting pre-made lunch from supermarkets or fast food chains. This is a staggering number, considering that if we all took just a small step we could get rid of all this unnecessary plastic rubbish. Prepare your lunch for the beach at home, and pack it in a reusable container – tupperwares, reused old takeaway boxes, stainless steel lunch boxes, whatever you have in the house will work! If you are short in time, no problem, just bring an empty container and bring your empty container, don’t be shy and ask your favourite lunch spot to pack your lunch there, you will also get a free guaranteed chat and you may also inspire other people who see you!
4. Say no to single-use plastic forks and knives
So you have your lunch, now what? Unless you got a sandwich or some finger food, the need for single-plastic cutlery may seem unavoidable. Don’t worry, we have the perfect eco-solution for this! Eco-friendly bamboo cutlery sets are an amazing alternative to wasteful plastic cutlery. Not only they are made using bamboo, an environmentally sustainable and compostable material, but they also last forever so you can carry them with you everywhere you go for years. Just get one for every member of the family and you will not need to worry about lunches on the go anymore
5. Reusable wipes made of fabric
Easily pack some cloth wipes in your backpack or beach bag (we have a great suggestion for this at the end!). Wet wipes are a terrible pollutant as they are mainly made of plastic, and single-use cotton wipes are equally wasteful. I think a big part of sustainability is not only saying no to plastic but also REUSING stuff that is made to last. You can make your own, using organic cotton flannel, or just buy some from a trusted eco-friendly provider, making sure they are made of organic materials. Once used, just bring them home, wash them and they will be ready for your next outing in no time!
6. What about snacks?
One thing both adults and children have in common when at the beach is a deep love for yummy snacks! Ditch the plastic and the disposables for a great snacking bonanza. Pack your favourite nuts, veggie sticks, fruits and biscuits in reusable cloth bags or beeswax wraps, a great alternative to cling film.
We can’t stress enough how satisfied you will feel when picking up all your stuff ready to go home and realised you haven’t produced a single piece of plastic waste while having the best day in the sun.
7. The problem with microfibre towels
In recent years, microfibre cloth towels have become a favourite alternative to beach towels, as they are very lightweight and compact, plus they dry really fast after use, compared to a standard towel. However, the microfibers used to make these towels, are synthetic fibres that unlike cotton or wool, don’t biodegrade, and tend to bind with molecules of harmful chemical pollutants found in wastewater, such as pesticides. Once washed, they end up in our oceans and eaten by plankton and other organisms that are in turn eaten by fish. It is a big problem and there is a small, easy change we can all do to avoid this carnage: use your old conventional cotton towel, even when at the beach! The fish will thank you for it!
8. Is natural sun cream even a thing?
Although sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin against UV rays, multiple studies have demonstrated that most sun lotions are actually produced using chemicals that are extremely toxic and damaging for coral reefs and marine life worldwide, putting their lives and health at risk. Ultimately that comes back to us as we bathe in the same waters, or we have our favourite fried cod while enjoying the sun. Switching to natural and 100% organic sun creams helps protect both our oceans and skin from harmful toxins and chemicals. Make sure you choose one that is also packaged in eco-friendly and reusable containers, and that hasn’t been tested on animals.
9. Showering after a refreshing swim in the sea.
Organic olive and coconut oils, water and most of all, no parabens, no SLS, no palm oils- these are the main characteristics for the ultimate eco-friendly beach soap bar.
Just pop it in a reusable container made of plastic or metal, so it won’t slip around in your bag and wet all your stuff, and you will smell amazing after getting rid of all that sand and salt water!
10. I am ready to go, where do I pack all this stuff?
Three words for our ultimate beach trip! Cotton Mesh bags! These reusable eco-friendly totes are the perfect solution to pack both your beach towel, a book or Ipad, suncream and lunch, plus anything else you may need for your perfect day out. They are really stretchy so they can fit loads in it, but their mesh pattern will also let any sand slip through the gaps, so you won’t end up bringing lots of beach sand back home with you by mistake! Also, these crocheted totes will let your swimwear and towel continue to dry if you have to pack them away while still damp!