When you’re off the clock, in vacation mode and trying to rejuvenate, you need things to be easy. Vacationing, for a lot of us, can mean a time of leisure and convenience, but that doesn’t have to translate into more waste and harm to our planet.
Vacation looks different for everyone. For some, it’s a weekend away in the woods. Others enjoy day trips to the beach or a long road trip to a new destination. No matter what your vacation looks like, we've compiled a list of products to add to your packing list that will help reduce waste and create a better planet.
1) Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Coral reefs do more than just provide picture-perfect views for snorkelers and scuba divers. They provide millions of people around the world employment opportunities through fishing, recreation and tourism. Not to mention, coral reefs shield shorelines from waves, storms and floods, protecting the people living in coastal areas near coral reefs.
A recent study determined that around 14,000 tons of sunscreen end up in the world's coral reefs each year, causing irreparable damage. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are the two chemicals causing the most damage to coral reefs and marine life, so avoid sunscreens with these chemicals. Travel and Leisure Magazine gives some great recommendations for mineral sunscreens that are good for your skin and good for our oceans.
2) Reusable Utensils & Containers
Only 10% of plastic is recycled, resulting in 8.9 million tons of pollution. Forget those wasteful disposable plastic forks, spoons, knives, and straws. Reusable utensils are great for a road trip to minimize waste while getting takeout and also an awesome option for camping! You can go as simple as a spork or get a full cutlery set for every meal. Bamboo straws are also a great option!
And make sure you’re not contributing to the plastic bag problem. Reusable containers come in all shapes and sizes and are better for your summer trips. Ditch the plastic zip-lock bags and pack your snacks and leftovers in an eco-friendly, reusable option. When your road trip calls for a stop at the store, make sure you have your reusable bag on hand! BAGGU bags are durable and compactable! (Bonus points for being super cute, too!) Even better, pack your meals ahead of time with a lightweight, stainless steel container like PlanetBox.
3) Multi-Use, Compactable Towels
A phrase that goes hand-in-hand with sustainability is “multi-use.” When your suitcase space is limited, Sand Cloud is an eco-friendly towel that has a lot more to offer! Use it as a towel, a blanket, or even a cover-up. Sand Cloud towels are sand resistant, lightweight and 10 percent of proceeds are donated to marine conservation.
4) Solar Powered Sockets
Go solar! Keep your phone, ipad, and speakers charged and ready to go for the beach. One eco-friendly way to keep your battery full is by using solar energy! This portable solar socket sticks to your window and for easy access. Perfect for a road trip or summer adventure!
5) Leak-Proof Eco-Friendly Toiletries
Toiletries are meant to be small so they are easy to pack and travel with, but that doesn’t mean you need to purchase travel-size plastic! There are so many solutions to reduce waste when packing your toiletries for a trip. Silicone travel containers like Go Toob are leak-proof and great for a variety of different liquids. Dr. Bronner’s All-One soap is also perfect as a travel option because you can use it for everything!
6) Sustainable Sunglasses
Sunglasses are a summer essential, but understanding the entire lifecycle of a product’s production is important when it comes to the health of our planet. Keep your eyes protected on the road by purchasing sunglasses from brands that are committed to sustainability!
You can find a great list of stylish, sustainable sunglasses here.
7) Eco-Friendly Beach Toys
Beach toys are a great way to keep kids (of all ages!) entertained. If you are looking for toys to pack for the beach, finding an eco-friendly option is a great way to advocate for the environment. Green Toys has awesome options and all their products are made from 100% recycled plastic.
8) Safe & Sustainable Hydration: Enter Boxed Water
Refillable is the best choice, but it’s not always an available option. When it’s not, Boxed Water Is Better. Stay hydrated without feeding into our current plastic and aluminum crisis. Boxed Water is available in four (awesome) plant-based carton sizes!
Staying close to home this summer? Try our new At-Home Eco-Friendly Starter Kit! There are many ways you can care for the planet from home.