Written in collaboration with Green Okanagan.
If you're anything like me, you’ve been dreaming of beach days all winter long! And, now they're finally here! Hooray!!
In addition to getting in as many fun-filled beach day as I can this summer, my main goals are to (1) avoid buying unnecessary new items and (2) staying far away from single use packaging! There are lots of ways to make sure your visits to the beach are more eco-friendly, all you need is a little planning and creativity.
Here are some of my tried and true tips that’ll help you reduce your waste while still soaking up all the goodness summer beach days have in store.
- Prep your food. Aside from creating less waste, prepping a beach picnic is so much healthier for you. I love visiting my local refill store like Chickpeace Zero Waste (sorry! Shameless plug) to fill (or refill) all my snacks. We have a wide selection of goodies, from dried fruits and trail mixes to indulgent chocolates, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Or get creative and grab ingredients to whip up some easy energy balls or granola bars. Keep it zero waste by packing your goodies in reusable containers or cloth bags, don't forget your cutlery and cloth napkins.
- Thrift for gear. Whether you’re looking for beach toys, towels, or lawn chairs check out your local thrift shops over buying brand new. You’d be surprised by the gems you can uncover for pennies on the dollar. When buying new is your only option, consider the lifecycle of the product and ask yourself these questions:
- Stay Sun Safe. Avoiding direct exposure to the sun is your best way to stay protected, consider wearing SPF clothing, long sleeves, and large-brim hats to shield your skin from the sun’s rays. At the beach, look for a spot under the shade of trees or set-up an umbrella or sun shade. When you can’t shield yourself, opt for reef-safe sunscreens or sun creams, Chickpeace even carries refillable options! My faves are Miiko Skin Co and Bare Nature, both have an SPF of 20-25 and are water and coral safe.
- Keep it clean. Take a break from lounging on your beach towel and look for garbage you can pick up. I bet if you visit your local beach at the end of a busy weekend there will be overflowing garbage cans and lots of litter to be picked up. My motto is “Leave it more beautiful than you found it." Bring a pair of gloves, hand sanitizer, and a bucket or bag and help keep our water ways and marine life clear of harmful waste.
Remember, small steps towards being more sustainable are steps in the right direction never underestimate the positive impact you can have.
For more tips on reducing waste, check out GO's Zero Waste Page and blogs like 6 Sustainable Swaps for On-the-Go and Garden Greener.GO Blog link: https://www.greenokanagan.org/post/4-tips-for-a-zero-waste-beach-day
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