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Summer is officially here and that means it’s the perfect time to plan a beach trip with friends and family. Whether you’re driving an hour to the coast for a day, or you’re flying to a vacation rental on the opposite side of the country, heading to the beach is a great summer getaway. However, many beaches are negatively impacted by large amounts of visitors each year. Here are 6 ways you can be an eco-conscious beachgoer and prevent damage to our country’s pristine coastlines. 

Chemical free sunscreen: Switch over to reef-safe and chemical-free sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are non-greasy, water-resistant and biodegradable. They are often made of antioxidants such as green tea, tulsi, wakame, and olive leaf. These ingredients are not only safe for the environment, but they’re great for your skin.

Reusable water bottles: Staying hydrated at the beach is a must! Packing a reusable water bottle is a great way to reduce your use of plastics while saving money. Most insulated bottles can keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12. Many brands are condensation-free too, so it will prevent the other items in your beach bag from getting wet. 

Reusable containers: Going to the beach usually takes up most of the day. That means you need to bring plenty of water and snacks. Don’t waste your time and money standing in line for overpriced food on the pier, pack your own food in reusable containers. Get rid of ziploc bags and use lunchboxes and reusable containers to store your items. 

Sustainable swimwear: More swimsuit companies are starting to offer sustainable or upcycled options. When shopping for your suit this summer, choose one that is made with green materials. You’ll find that they hold up well in the water and you won’t have to sacrifice on style.  

Solar powered speakers: No beach day is complete without some tunes. Invest in a wireless bluetooth speaker. Many of these energy-efficient solar powered speakers also have the ability to charge your phone or tablet. Even if the sun is behind the clouds, these eco-friendly speakers can typically last about 8 hours. 

Limit plastic floats: Everyone loves relaxing on giant pool floats. Gigantic swan, flamingo and popsicle shaped floats seem to be all the rage. Unfortunately, almost all of these floats are made with PVC’s. If you can’t find a float that is made from recycled materials, you can find a float company that gives back to the community. Some companies have charitable missions and will provide clean drinking water and other necessary items to people in need for every sale they make. 

Some of the most beautiful things are also the most fragile. Keep this in mind when you plan your trip to the beach this summer. Be sure to pack items that are eco-friendly, non-toxic and will prevent waste.