Despite growing awareness around the impact of litter on the environment (80% of marine litter comes from the land), almost one in five people admit to leaving rubbish behind at the beach, with the primary driving factor being the fact that litter and rubbish was already present. As well as making sure to dispose of your rubbish in the correct manner, such as taking it home to recycle when the bins are full, you can upgrade your beach essentials to be more sustainable.
By making more conscious choices, we can enhance our beach trip while minimising our environmental impact. In this blog post, we'll explore the top eco beach essentials for your next trip so you can enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin and the feeling of sand between your toes, safe in the knowledge that your trip will leave no trace and do no harm.
1. Organic Towel
Textile production is thought to be responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions. By investing in an organic towel, you support organic textile production, which has been proven to cause between 48% and 66% fewer carbon emissionsthan its counterpart. In addition to this, organic cotton is hypoallergenic and kinder to skin, as it isn’t treated with toxic pesticides.
Shield yourself from the sun's rays with a beach umbrella crafted from recycled materials or upcycled fabrics. These innovative umbrellas reduce waste and minimise the demand for new resources, and typically come in beautiful, unique designs.
Our Recommendation: Baskk. Made from Repreve® (recycled plastic) into certifiable, traceable, high-performance fabric, these beach umbrellas offer UPF 50+ shade and a 3-way tilt for 24/7 protection.
3. Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Protect your skin and our precious marine life by opting for reef-safe sunscreen. This sustainable alternative is made from natural, mineral based ingredients, such as non-nano zinc oxide, that are kinder to our skin and the environment.
Keep in mind that “reef-safe” isn’t a regulated term, so you should still double check the ingredients before you make a purchase. Save The Reefhas a great guide on this, including what harmful substances to look out for.
A bucket and spade is a beach staple, in particular if you have little ones. Instead of a plastic set, invest in a sustainable bucket and space, made from recycled materials, food-grade silicone or bioplastic. As well as being better for the environment, these sets tend to last longer and can be passed down (and enjoyed) for generations to come.
Relax in style with comfortable beach chairs made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo, recycled plastic or upcycled fabric. As well as being better for the environment than their plastic (and often single-use) alternatives, these chairs are often more comfortable, durable and stylish.
Pack your beach snacks in sustainable storage containers, such as food-safe silicone bags or beeswax wraps. As well as being better for the environment, these solutions are more breathable than cling film which means that your food is kept fresher for longer — an essential in the hot weather.
Bett yet, if you’re able to prepare all your food at home with fresh ingredients, you can avoid plastic food waste altogether. The ultimate sustainable picnic.
Our Recommendation: Wild & Stone's Beeswax Wraps. Made with 100% GOTS certified cotton natural cotton, organic dyes, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, and free from toxic chemicals.
7. Reusable Cutlery & Water Bottle
Reusable utensils, strawsand bottles can be used over and over again, unlike their single-use counterparts which get chucked after one use and end up in landfill and our waterways (including the ocean). Carry a set of lightweight and durable reusable cutlery made from bamboo, and ditch the plastic bottle for a reusable one instead.
As well as being better for the environment, these alternatives eliminate the risk of plastic leeching into your food, in particular if you're taking warm or hot food.
Our Recommendation: Wild & Stone's Bamboo Cutlery Set, made from 100% FSC® certified bamboo and biodegradable at the end of its life.
8. Reusable Beach Bag
Last, but certainly not least, you need somewhere to keep all of your beach essentials. Complete your eco-friendly beach ensemble witha reusable beach bag made fromrecycled materials, organic cotton, or upcycled fabrics. These bags are stylish and practical, and help to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bags, leading to a cleaner and more sustainable shoreline (Every year an estimated 300 million plastic bags end up in the Atlantic Ocean alone).
Whether you’re jetting off abroad or enjoying a staycation this Summer, your sustainable efforts don’t have to stop when you travel. In this article, we share our top sustainable travel essentials to get you started.