Sustainable Beach Essentials for Summer
These beach essentials are great for the whole fam and will last for years of beach trips to come. 🏖️
Summer doesn't really begin until you hit the beach. As you pack up all the goodies you need for the perf seaside escape, it's easy to wind up with lots of single-use products and other items that aren't so good for the environment (I'm looking at you coral reef hurting sunscreen!). So we've gathered up some of our fave beach products made from natural, organic, or recycled products, so you can enjoy the waves and help save the earth at the same time.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Though it says "kids" on the bottle, the Goddess Garden Kids SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen works for all ages. Unlike chemical sunscreens that can harm ocean life and are filled with, well, chemicals, this mineral sunscreen uses zinc oxide to block out the sun's harmful rays. Plus, it's made from organic, plant-based materials, so it's great for sensitive skin and stays water resistant for up to 80 minutes. The Environmental Working Group rated this as one of the best children's sunscreens due to its natural ingredients and high level UV protection.
Buy it! Goddess Garden Kids SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Sensitive Skin, $16; amazon.com
Ever get a sunburn on your lips? It can happen and it's not fun! Keep that sensitive skin safe with Burt's Bees All-Weather 15 SPF Moisturizing Lip Balm. This natural balm is infused with zinc oxide for UV protection but doesn't leave lips looking chalky or white. The mixture of beeswax and natural oils keeps skin soft and moisturized even with the zinc content. Plus, the taste won't scare away the kids. The natural fruity flavor makes them want to reapply. Most Burt's Bees products contain at least 34 percent recycled material, and the company's working to make its packaging even more sustainable.
Buy it! Burt's Bees 100% Natural All-Weather SPF 15 Moisturizing Lip Balm (2-Count), $8; amazon.com
A sunshade made from recycled fish nets
Sunscreen will help keep your skin safe, but your best bet is to find ways to take a break from the sun entirely. You can do just that with the SunBear Shade. Weighing less than four pounds, it's easy to carry, water-and-wind resistant, and provides enough shade for up to six people. The coolest part? The sun shade is made from recycled fishing nets.
Buy it! The SunBear Co. SunBear Shade Eco-Friendly Beach Tent, $99-$129; amazon.com
Sand-repellent beach towel
Sitting in sand on the beach is enjoyable. Sitting in sand in your car, your office, and in your kid's room because the towel decided to bring half the beach with it? Not so fun. Luckily, the Evolve Beach Towels are designed to absorb nearly 33 ounces of water and are completely sand resistant. Every towel is made from the equivalent of 20 plastic bottles. Not carrying around a ton of sand and keeping plastic out of landfills? We're obsessed!
Buy it! Sand Repellant Quick Dry Microfiber Beach Travel Towel, $55; amazon.com
Reusable water bottles
Staying hydrated at the beach is crucial, especially for the little ones. These Pura Stainless Steel bottles are the best way to keep water on hand for the whole fam. These bottles not only keep water cold, but they come with a variety of lids, which all fit onto any of their bottle sizes, so when your kid's over the sippy cup phase, just switch out the lid and keep moving. Nontoxic certified and BPA-free, these bottles are made to last through a lifetime of beach vacays.
Buy it! Pure Kiki 11 oz. Stainless Steel with Silicon Straw & Sleeve, $17; walmart.com
Disposable straws are convenient, but they're just so wasteful—and the popular reusable steel straws aren't always the best for kiddos. Instead, try Buluh Bamboo Straws. Made from bamboo, these straws are surprisingly durable and look super cool. Best part? There are no inks, dyes, or additives, just straight up bamboo! Bamboo straws are the only kind of reusable straw that is completely natural and biodegradable.
Buy it! Buluh Bamboo Straws (Set of 8), $20; anthropologie.com
Dishes, bowls, and utensils that fold up? Cool, right?! Fozzils' lightweight dishware folds flat so you can travel with a whole party's worth of bowls without feeling weighed down. After the picnic or cookout, just fold the dishes back up, give them a wash at home, and take them back out on your next trip. It's the convenience of paper plates without all the waste. Win-win!
Buy it! Fozzils Solo Pack (Includes Cup, Bowl, Dish), $13.60; amazon.com
Why not carry all your beach needs in a tote that used to be on the sea? It sounds a little out there, but Sea Bags ($140-$160) found a way to create beach totes and bags from recycled sails. Made in America, each bag is crafted from a sail that normally would have been thrown away. The designs are eye-catching, and you can choose from a wide array of styles from rose gold stripes to antique harbor maps. The material is made to last and retains a bit of history from its former life at sea. If you wish you could make beach day every day, this is a great way to take a bit of the sea home with you.