Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach?
The sand itself works as a wonderful (and free) pedicure; any rough skin you had beforehand will be sorted out after a dip into the ocean and a roll about the sand. Salt water is actually really great for both the hair and skin. And hello, who isn’t pulled into a trance by the sound of waves lapping against the shore?
Okay, now it’s time to shatter the illusion just a little. While we the beach is a serene and life-affirming place, it can also be a complete and utter nightmare. First of all, there’s so much stuff to take. If you have children, they’ll want to take everything with them, which typically means you’re carrying even extra stuff.
But you need just a select few things to make your trip to the beach a success and a treat this year. From the perfect beach tote, to the comfiest beach towel to the only toys your children will need to pack.
Make your beach trip stress-free from home to sand with these 12 eco-friendly beach essentials.
1. The obligatory bucket & shovel
Skip the cheap plastic, and buy an eco-friendly set. They’re made to last, and if they do somehow float out to sea, they’re made to break down within 2-3 years (unlike ordinary plastic that may never break down). And just in case your child somehow ends up with the spade in their mouth – sets like these from Zoë b Organic are BPA and toxin-free, so they’ll be safe. Sandy, but safe.
2. Don’t forget your beach towel . . .
A towel is the one thing you need at the beach and yet the thing I typically forget. Sometimes they’re just so heavy to carry, and when you’re all wet they take ages to dry and . . . basically, it’s time you invested in a new towel. But why splurge on a towel that just gets bundled into the beach bag waiting for your next trip? Nomadix has created three in one towels; they’re a beach towel, a yoga towel and a travel towel, perfect if you go camping or out for the day. Plus, they’re made from certified recycled material, are super handy to pack and quick-drying. All of your towel prayers have been answered! Amen.
3. A cool bag could be handy, too.
Keeping food in one place keeps beach trips organized. And what better place to store food than with an insulated cooler bag? This tote is made from renewable jute, is insulated and affordable, too.
4. And something to carry it all in, like a tote . . .
When it comes to the beach you really need to fit everything into one tote; forget carrying a million bags. And everything will fit nicely inside of this beach tote. It’s made from durable 100% recycled materials and is super lightweight and roomy, perfect for squeezing everything you need inside. The recycled exterior provides a smooth and easy to clean surface, so if there’s any spillages at the beach your Doooka bag will be as good as new once it’s had a quick wipe over.
5. Did you pack the utensils?
It’s easy to package food in reusable glass containers, but what about utensils? You don’t want to use plastic options but you also don’t want to be taking your kitchen cutlery along to the beach, too. It’s heavy and too much of a hassle. That’s when these on the go utensil sets are handy. Not only for the beach but they’re perfect to pop inside your bag for when you’re on the go or find yourself eating out spontaneously. They come in a handy carrying case and are both heat and stain-resistant, so they won’t have a nasty wooden flavor when you’re eating.
6. Snacks! Don’t forget the snacks!
Snacks are a must when you’re out and about for the day. We all need to fuel our bodies efficiently, and it’s really easy with these stasher bags. They’re self-sealing and non plastic; they’re made from food-grade silicone so they’re safe for freezing, placing in the microwave, dishwasher, and for washing in hot water. Once sealed, they’re air-tight, keeping your food fresher for longer, making them the perfect option for traveling.
7. Don’t forget the sunscreen
Sunscreen is something we all take along to the beach, so its best to do some research to buy a sunscreen that is safe for both your family and the environment. This zinc and titanium-based, all-natural spray-on sunscreen is easy to blend and gives up to 80 minutes of water resistance protection. It’s non-nano, reef safe, non-GMO and cruelty free and contains no parabens or nasty synthetic fragrances. And the best part? It’s biodegradable.
8. And what about taking care of pesky insects?!
Sometimes the insects are part of beach life and they can get pretty damn annoying. While children run around and are usually oblivious they can eat away at your own zen. Luckily there are a lot of ways to keep them at bay. This oil is a favorite at HL&S. It’s not only deet-free but is also therapeutic, helping you relax, knowing your skin is protected.
9. What about the dog?
Dogs love trips to the beach. But it’s easy to forget about packing essentials for our pets, too. The most important thing to remember is a bowl. From the car journey to the beach, it can be thirsty work; these pop-up bowls can be easy assembled and filled with water to keep your pup hydrated. When your pet is done, simply tip any leftover water out and fold back down; they’re made from silicone so they’re durable and can be used for food, too.
10. What about if YOU get thirsty?!
Hydration is crucial, but before you pile plastic bottles into the cooler – think again. Plastic only ends up polluting the environment around us and the planet we live on, so invest in some reuseable and safe water bottles. For hot days at the beach you may want to splash out for the insulated Reflect water bottle. It keeps cold drinks cold for up to 20 hours while keeping drinks iced for up to 40 hours. Perfect for when it’s hot outside and you need a little cooling down.
11. Time to get perfectly wavy beach hair
Master the beach wave with this beach mist. The exotic salts and coconut oil will give your hair plenty of body and texture, yet will also provide essential hydration to prevent your hair from drying out. The best part? It can be used on your skin, too. It’s the perfect spray to refresh hot, dry skin.
12. And now . . . relax.
Hopefully by this point you’re at the beach. You’re feeling zen and mellow, and now it’s time to really give yourself a little me time and let loose. And your hair is probably in need of some love and care, too. So use this detox treatment to remove build-up and let your hair relax with you. And with two sizes available the travel size is perfect to fit into your beach tote this summer.
Simply massage it into your scalp, lay back under the shade, and let the therapeutic blend of essential oils work to rejuvenate your hair while helping you to relax further and drift off . . . until the kids scream that they want an ice cream. But, y’know, it’s all about seizing the moments when they’re there.