As you pack up for your next trip to the beach, the last thing you want to think about is microplastic. Yet, the issue remains, as roughly one garbage truck’s worth of plastic is dumped into our oceans every minute. To pay your respects to the mighty ocean on your next coastal voyage, challenge yourself to reduce plastic waste with these simple swaps!
1. Sun protection
Sun protection is an essential element for any happy day in the sand. Yet, those empty plastic sunscreen bottles really add up when you reapply every couple hours. Fortunately, you don’t have to trade in your own health for the planet’s. Instead, look for sunblock packaged in recyclable and re-purpose-able metal tins or glass jars. There are even some SPF options with entirely biodegradable packaging, such as EiR NYC's Surf Mud Pro.
After hours in the waves, you’re sure to work up an appetite. As you pack up snacks in preparation for your trip, phase out single-use plastic wrap and zipper bags for biodegradable food wrap or reusable zipper bags, perfect for sandwiches or summer produce.
Don’t worry about filling up your cooler with plastic water bottles. Instead, pack your beverage of choice in a temperature regulating reusable bottle, like those from Hydro Flask or S'well, that keeps liquids cool as the weather gets hot.
After a long winter, you might find that last summer’s swimsuit is worn out or doesn’t fit quite like it used to. If it’s time for a new suit, consider investing in one made from recycled nylon from Patagonia or Reformation or one made using discarded plastic bottles from Madewell. Take the time to find one that’s just right. A swimsuit that spends only one summer on your body will still spend centuries or more in a landfill.
Swimsuits aren’t the only piece of beach gear being made from repurposed materials. Nomadix towels are made using recycled plastic bottles and are perfect for the beach, pool, or yoga.
4. Summer reading
There’s nothing better than kicking back on the beach with a good book. If you’re in need of something to read, try stopping by your local library, thrift shop, or used book store before checking out on Amazon. Yes, it may require you to do a little searching, but you will cut out shipping waste and you might surprise yourself with a new favorite author!