This is a guest post by Nadia Jones of www.onlinecollege.org.
Headed out for a day at the beach? Before you go, make a mental checklist of exactly how much your beach-going could be negatively affecting the environment and whether or not you could be more sustainable in your actions. Things we may not think about, such as where our swimsuits are made or how to minimize non-recyclable trash, can add up to major effects on the planet. Since we all know that every little bit counts, why not try to aim for a totally sustainable day at the beach? Read on for some fun and easy ways to hit the beach in the most earth-friendly manner possible!
1. Make your own swimsuit.
Rather than spend too much money on such a small amount of fabric, typically sourced from the cheapest labor possible, using the least sustainable business practices, why not save your hard-earned cash and make your own suit? This probably won’t work for the kids or anyone else who plans to be very active in the water, but if you happen to be more of a sand-over-surf type of beach diva, this could be the perfect suit for you. All you’ll need are a pair of scissors and a t-shirt with a cool design or a solid color. Check out how to make your own sexy bikini here.
2. Buy sustainable or organic swimsuits.
They can often be on the expensive side, but if you take a look around, it’s definitely possible to find well-priced, organic and sustainable swimwear. Besides, most swimsuits are ridiculously expensive, anyway, right? You may as well invest that money into a suit you know has been made with earth-friendly practices. The best part is these suits are made to last, so you will be able to wear them for a few years, if you want. Here’s a good place to start looking.
3. Buy recycled beach totes.
Avoid the typical 5-dollar, plastic beach totes. These are often made from plastics that cannot be recycled, and there is no reason to support those manufacturers when recycled versions are available for about ten dollars more. Check out these recycled beach totes for $14.99.
4. Bottle your own drinks.
Use the same metal, or toxin-free plastic, water bottles you use to carry drinks with you daily as your carry-all for anything you plan to drink near the water. You will avoid spending money on store-bought drinks, and you’ll save the environment from yet another plastic or aluminum purchase. Try making yummy flavored waters that have zero sugar for you and tons of flavor for the kids. By adding fruit to the bottles before you add water. Watermelon works especially well for this.
5. Re-use glass jars for storage.
Anything you would typically need a plastic Tupperware container to carry can easily be packed in a basic mason jar instead. Things like cut fruit are great to keep in mason jars. In fact, the jars will actually keep your food better insulated and more protected from the elements.
6. Use a recycled cooler or buy a used one.
It’s awesome to have a recycled cooler on hand for all your summer needs. They are sold online and at nationwide chains like Wal-Mart. You can also always look online at the classifieds or sites like Craigslist.org to salvage items that would have otherwise been thrown away. Even if the cooler you pick up isn’t made from recycled materials, you are at least saving it from a trip to the landfill and may even be able to more appropriately dispose of it than its previous owner when it does come time to let it go.
7. Use biodegradable food packaging:
Instead of worrying about how to throw away packaging like potato chip bags while your relaxing in the sun, plan ahead and use your own biodegradable packaging instead. Package and food you choose to bring along in things that can easily biodegrade, just in case they fly away or you need to dispose of trash in the public trashcans. Here you can buy 800 bio-degradable sandwich bags in bulk, which will surely save you dollars and save the environment in the long run.
8. Make your own beach blanket:
Instead of buying a new beach blanket, which can often be expensive and not made sustainably, try making your own. You can use any old fabric that you have around the house. Old sheets can be sewn together to make nice, thick beach blankets. Old towels are also some of the best beach blankets, since they soak up water so readily. Try sewing about four towels together to make a comfy space to relax near the ocean.
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