Going to spend some time at the beach for your summer vacation? Here's how to have fun, make it easy, and be good to the environment.
1. Protect your skin. Be aware of the power of the sun reflecting off the sand and the water. Don't get burned! All sunscreens are NOT alike so don't use one with toxic chemicals - on your skin and washing off into the water. Oxybenzone is dangerous, nanoparticles in sprays are a concern. Some skin and earth friendly product include those from Aubrey, Kiss My Face, Natures Gate & Caribbean Solution.
2. Pack smart products. It's easy to get caught up in purchasing single use products. From lunches to snacks to drinks, mini portions waste your money and packaging. Bring a larger bottle of your water and drinks. You'll have more, spend less, and can still dispose of the bottle in beach recycle containers. Pack snacks and lunch treats in reusable plastics. It's really not difficult and helps keep sand at bay while you're eating. An extra set of forks and spoons is about $8 at Ikea and you can re-use the stainless just about forever. Lose one? No big loss. Whether you use a cooler or an insulated tote like I do, add some reusable ice to keep things cooler longer!
3. Use a bike to get around. You can't always pack a bike, but beach cruisers put the 'beach' back into your trip. Rentals are inexpensive and fun! Carry your little ones in the attached rear child seats, and your treats in the front basket!
4. Give back. Is there a cleanup day scheduled? Spend some time and help the community with a beach cleanup. Easily searched!
5. Shop locally. Frequent the local stores for produce, food and even souvenirs. Isn't a cute stuffed toy or local artist's jewelry a better reminder of a fun vacation than a mass-produced ashtray with the name stamped on it?