“Leave only footprints, take only memories,” or so the saying goes. This is true for any activity you might be doing outdoors, whether you’re camping for the weekend or heading to the beach for the day. Although we like to soak up the sun during our summery festive season, we still need to remember to respect the environment while we do it.
Local public and private beaches are always sites of great littering during the December/January holidays, and we’re collectively outraged when we see images of trash pollution after the holidays not acknowledging that the ice lollie packet we discarded absentmindedly forms part of the problem.
If you are part of the problem, you need to be part of the solution. We’ve penned a few plastic-free, environmentally responsible tips to pack into your beach bag for the next time you want to take a dip in the ocean:
ECO-FRIENDLY BEACH BAG
Luckily, you don’t have to comb through the internet to find earth-friendly products anymore. There are sites, just like ours, that have an extensive selection of hemp, upcycled and repurposed products for you to utilise. An eco string tote is the ideal beach bag because you can use your bamboo beach towel to line the bag, then shake the tote out to ensure no sand is carried home with you.
PACK LUNCH WITH REUSABLE BAGS
I’m sure you know NEVER to buy lunch at the beach, instead bring your own. This way you won’t have a trash pile of single-use plastic that you have to throw away. If you pack your baby carrots and cucumber slices in Tupperware, you can give it a wash and use it the next time you need to prepare a packed lunch.
Slide your watermelon cubes, finger sandwiches and juices into an insulated cooler bag so everything stays cool and you don’t have to buy a melting plastic pack of ice.
When I plan trips to the beach, I always warn my friends that we need to set up close to the water because I dig a deep hole and use the under layer of sand to keep my bottles of wine and ciders cool. We ALWAYS pack the empty bottles up and take them home because they make for great candle holders, and I package my homemade ice tea into them.
ECO-FRIENDLY BEACH TOYS
Your kids are bound to want to play in the sand, so why not make sure it’s in a way that honours the earth? The little ones can lounge on EverEarth EAZAir Chair, which are made of sustainably sourced materials like bamboo and beech wood. Sandcastles can be built using biodegradable spades and buckets. Instead of a standard inflatable beach ball, a Natural Rubber Sensory Rainbow Ball is a great substitute.
Water-based or added shimmer; either way, synthetic sunscreen can be extremely toxic and should be thrown in the trash can now. Opt for a protective skin balm that is made up of restorative minerals and oils that nourish your body while blocking the harmful sun rays. Sunumbra has a line of great chemical-free sunblock lotions that are safe for you and your children to use. Apply before you leave the house and reapply every 30 – 60 minutes. If you don’t want to sizzle in the sun like a strip of bacon in the pan, wear a wide-brimmed hat and rent a beach umbrella.
FTN is pretty clued-up when it comes to eco-friendly living but even we have to admit that we don’t know it all. If you have any suggestions that we didn’t cover, let us know what knifty green hacks you use at the beach by commenting below.