The only thing better than finding summer essentials that look good, is finding ones that do good too. With so much going on in the summer, being prepared is the easiest way to make sure your making conscious decisions for both your body and the planet. Below I’ve listed some of my summer must-haves that help me feel and look good, and help the environment in the process:
Something to reminder: the most sustainable option for anything is the one you already have. If you already have a swimsuit, water bottle, towel, etc. that you love, more power to you! The key is remembering one, to bring your reusables with you, and two, that as cute as they might be, you don’t need 10 of anything (even swimsuits). Find one (or a few) you love, and wear them until they’re falling apart, or you can donate them to someone in need.
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1. Reusable Water Bottle
I’d be willing to bet I’m not the only one who lets myself get dehydrated pretty frequently in the summer, but bringing my own bottle helps me remember to drink water, and reduce the number of plastic bottles I grab while I’m out and about during the day. The world uses about 1 million plastic water bottles a minute, and more than 90% of those don’t get recycled. Bringing your own bottle helps solve this problem as opposed to contributing to it. It also keeps my drinks cold throughout the day, so I’m not having to choose between the hot water bottle in my car or buying another plastic bottle on the go. A few of my favorite brands are Manna Hydration and Hydro Flask.
2. Sustainable Swimsuit
We’ve all been there: “It’s only $13, why not?” The “why” is because you really do get what you pay for: a cheap suit made quickly in a factory on the other side of the world that will probably only last one season. This is what we call “fast fashion” - inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends, no matter what the cost, ethically or environmentally. I still have swimsuits that I love from years past from places like Victoria’s Secret and SheIn, and I’ll wear them until I can’t, but when it comes to buying new suits, I’m choosing brands that are ethical, made with quality materials, and doing good for people and the environment. Two of my favorite brands are CocoKini and Swoon Swimwear.
3. Reusable bag
Whether you reuse your tote from a store like Urban Outfitters, or buy a new one, bringing your own bag to the store, the beach, the farmer’s market, can make a huge difference in the amount of waste you produce in a year, and help let brands know that consumers don’t need plastic bags. One bag may not seem like a big deal, but one bag every day is 365 bags saved, and that’s just from one person. I don’t always remember my bags, but keeping them in the trunk gives me no excuse to not say “I don’t need a bag”.
4. Non-Toxic + Reef Safe Sunscreen
Most sunscreens that we’ve been wearing since we were kids are filled with chemicals that aren’t very good for you or the environment. When these chemicals wash off our bodies and into the ocean, it can be detrimental to coral reefs. More and more brands are recognizing this and creating non-toxic and reef safe alternatives to the sunscreens we’ve always known. My personal favorite brand is Coola, but there are tons out there for you to choose from, available at places like Target, Whole Foods and Ulta. If you want me to read more about the impact on coral reefs and what we can do, here's a great article.
5. Coconut oil
Dry hair? Put coconut oil in your dry hair for 15 minutes and rinse it out. Dry or peeling skin? Rub some coconut oil on it. Coconut oil is my go-to for just about any issue in the summer. It’s cheap, usually comes in a glass jar, and can be used to make all-natural masks, deodorant, moisturizer, and more, saving you money and plastic packaging.
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