8 Sustainable Products To Bring To The Beach


Written By: Shannon Sweeney

Summer is finally here, and I’m increasingly finding myself sitting poolside, hiking through the mountains, and generally spending more time outside.

For me, spending time outside means making sure I’m lathering up in sunblock at least once every two hours (thanks, fair complexion). But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized how my sunblock was affecting the environmental – and it started when I was swimming in the ocean, looking at an oily film coming off of my body and spreading across the surface of the ocean.

It was that moment when I decided to research sustainable summer products that would protect me and the environment. These are some of the products I recommend that you take on your summer adventures — and you can leave the guilt behind.

Reef-safe sunblock

Traditional sunblock is terrible for the ocean because of its chemical makeup, and it’s part of the reason why coral reefs have been bleaching and dying. Two chemicals in traditional sunblock — oxybenzone and octinoxate — are why this happens. But reef-safe sunblock exists for this reason, and it works just as well as other sunblocks.

Reef-safe sunblock brands include Stream2Sea Sunscreen, Thinksport SPF 50 Sunscreen, and All Good SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Lotion.

Natural Bug Repellent

Most bug repellents contain DEET or synthetic chemicals. While DEET is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes, it can cause blisters and rashes on some people, and has also been associated with lethargy, disorientation, and more. It’s also considered an environmental contaminant that breaks down slowly in soil, and the EPA says DEET is slightly toxic to birds, fish, and aquatic invertebrates.

Instead of popular bug sprays, try Badger Anti-Bug Shake and Spray repellent. It’s an organic bug spray that repels bugs with scents of citronella, wintergreen and rosemary essential oils.

Recycled Beach Bag

Whether you’re going to the pool or beach, pick up a recycled beach bag. Sea Bags produces bags from recycled sails in Maine, and their handles are made with hand-spliced rope. Any reusable bag obviously helps with sustainability, but if you want to go a step farther, Sea Bag is the way to go.

Take a look at Sea Bags here.

Reusable snack bags

Going on any sort of outdoor adventure usually means you’ll be gone for at least a few hours. If you’re looking to bring snacks, leave the plastic bags at home. There’s nothing worse than seeing plastic bags, snack bags, and overall plastic floating in the ocean or littered alongside a hiking trail.

There are hundreds of brands that provide reusable sandwich bags. These Reusable Insulated Sandwich bags go a step further by providing insulation for your favorite snacks. They’ll keep your food cold and fresh until snack time.

Take a look at INSU-BAGS here.

Reusable Bamboo Travel Utensils

To go along with your snack bags or other food you might be bringing along with you, a set of Bamboo Travel utensils should be a must have. Instead of picking up a pack of plastic utensils, bamboo utensils are lightweight, easy to transport, and extremely durable.

Check out this set from To-Go Ware here.

Solar-powered wireless bluetooth speaker

Speakers are a necessary beach or pool day accessory. This speaker is even solar powered so you don’t have to worry about it running out of battery (unless, of course, the sun goes away). The battery life lasts about eight hours, and it’s super energy efficient.

Look at the solar-powered wireless speaker from Reveal here.

64-ounce insulated water bottle

When you’re outside in 80-degree weather, it’s easy to down a number of standard 16-ounce water bottles. The problem? Lots of plastic waste that too often ends up left on the beach and ultimately in the ocean.

Instead of picking up a pack of plastic water bottles, bring an insulated 64-ounce water bottle instead. It holds enough water to last for awhile, and its double wall vacuum insulation keeps water ice cold all day long.

Check out Highland Peak’s Insulated Water bottle here.

Nomadix Beach Towel

Nomadix provides towels that are made from recycled plastic bottles, and they’ll be your favorite summer companion for the pool, beach, and more. They have tons of designs on their website, and their performance towels can also be used for camping, travel, yoga, and more.

Take a look at the Nomadix website here.

If you’re an eco-conscious person, these items are made for you. And if you’re looking to make little decisions with a big impact, this is a great place to start! Head to the beach or pool this summer in style — all while helping our planet.