Image source: Moyan Brenn/ Flickr
For many of us, summer means beach time. We’re eager to shed our winter blues and slip into our bathing suits again to take a cool, refreshing swim under the blazing summer sun. Whether you’re jetting off to an island or visiting a local state park, there are a number of helpful summer goodies you’ll usually take along for your family from sunscreen to water-friendly toys.
During the summer months and even well before the season starts, we find these beach products available at a wide range of big name stores across the country. While it’s great that we can easily purchase what we want when we want, sometimes we forgot to slow down and really take a look at what we’re buying.
Many beach toys are made of cheap plastic that often contain PCV (polyvinyl chloride), phthalates, and BPA (Bispehnol A), all of which are endocrine disruptors and can mimic a body’s hormones, upsetting the normal balance and even potentially stimulating the growth of tumors. Traditional sunscreens also contain unhealthy ingredients such as oxybenzone, which is a synthetic estrogen that can contaminate your body.
These summer products and others can also be detrimental to the environment. The plastic we purchase and throw away stays on the earth long after we’re gone, sometimes taking up to and over 500 years to biodegrade. Moreover, many summer products are often left accidentally on beaches or can wash into the sea, making them easily accessible to wildlife who may ingest them. Furthermore, conventional summer toys, bags, sunscreens and other items are typically created using unsustainable methods and materials even though plenty of eco-friendly processes and materials exist.
On your next beach trip then, make sure to grab products that are safe for you, your family and the environment. The following eight eco-friendly product picks are great for a day out in the sun with your whole family, pets included.
Before you go ahead and happily purchase other eco-friendly beach products, you’ll certainly be interested in sporting a green bag to carry it all in. This large eco-friendly beach tote by Carry Green is made of 100 percent natural jute fiber and should do the trick nicely. Jute is an eco-friendly, highly renewable material that is both recyclable and biodegradable. Know what that means? You can give this bag a new life instead of sending it to the landfill. How wonderful.
It’s easy for you and your family to get hungry during a day at the beach with all the sun and heat. Why not bring along an eco-friendly cooler for the day then? This insulated lunch sack by Kids Konserve is ideal for packing up a light snack and some water and can double as your son or daughter’s school lunch bag when school starts up again. The lunch sack is BPA, lead and phthalate free and is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. Plus this sack has an adjustable strap that’s also made from recycled plastic bottles that makes it easy to carry as a backpack or brief-case style.
These beach toys by Zoë b are a much better choice for both your child and the environment than their cheap plastic counterparts on store shelves everywhere. This eco-friendly set includes five items: a bucket, a sifter/lid, a shovel, and two cups. All the toys are biodegradable in salt and fresh water, compost, and soil in two to three years so if one toy gets lost or is accidentally left behind, no need to worry — it won’t be spending 500 years on earth like other plastics. What makes these toys special is that they’re made of bioplastic which is produced from corn, not petroleum. This means that no BPA, phthalates or PVC are contained inside, making this is safe choice for your child.
Another great eco-friendly beach toy set choice is this one by Green Toys. This USA-made set is suitable for children aged 18 months and older and includes a bucket, shovel, rake and sand mold. It’s completely safe of children as its made from curbside collected milk containers and contains zero phthalates or BPA.
While your child plays with their new eco-friendly toy set in the sand, make sure they’re protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays with a new eco-friendly sunscreen too. This two-pack by Goddess Garden is made with kids in mind. It’s a natural SPF 30 sunscreen that’s certified organic and made from healthy ingredients like aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, lavender oil, honeysuckle extract, aspen bark extract, radish root ferment, and vitamin E. The sunscreen is also biodegradable, reef-safe, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
Another great eco-friendly sunscreen option is Mexitan Tropical Sands SPF 30 Sunscreen. It’s a 100 percent natural formula that’s made without harsh chemicals or fragrances. The formula includes ingredients like sunflower oil, coconut oil, green tea extract, jojoba oil, vitamin E, shea butter, and eucalyptus oil and was originally discovered as a secret recipe from Acapulco natives. The sunscreen’s biodegradable too so it won’t leave residue in the water for long.
If you plan on bringing your furry friend along with you to the beach then you’ll want to make sure you keep them well hydrated along with the rest of your family. This travel dog bowl is perfect for a beach trip as it collapses into a flat, easy-to-store circle. The bowl lining is made of FDA-approved ingredients and the outer material is produced from reclaimed bike inner tubes so pouch won’t ingest any harmful chemicals as she laps up some water.
Your dog would also probably enjoy having his/her own comfy place to lounge on at the beach. OllyDog makes a nice travel-friendly dog bed that’s also eco-friendly. It rolls up so you can easily fit it into your beach bag or carry it with you. The bed contains 100 percent recycled filling and is completely washable so you can just throw the whole thing into your next laundry load. Choose between two reversible colors, green and chocolate or blue and chocolate.
If you loved these recommendations, you can browse through some more amazing product recommendations here!