Sustainable Summertime Essentials for Seaside Weekends

One of the year's biggest beach weekends is upon us, and with the weather finally heating up, I'm rounding up a list of (mostly) sustainable summertime essentials for this (and every) beach weekend this summer!

1. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is notoriously laden with chemicals and skin-harming toxins. And since our skin is our largest (absorbing, no less) organ, we should pay mind to what we put on it. Most natural sunscreens on the market tend to be really thick and difficult to rub in, leaving you as white as Casper the Ghost. Not a good look. But these lotions ranked among the best by the Environmental Working Group:

 
 

2. Swimsuit

Naturally, you need a bathing suit for the beach. Classically, the materials used for swimwear is not sustainable, but some brands have found a balance. Vitamin A patented aims to lessen their environmental footprint by using a patented EcoLux superfine jersey material made from recycled nylon fiber. And Araks is an ethical luxury line designed and produced right here in NYC!

 

3. Beach Towel

So, if you don't already know... organic cotton has this quality of "blooming" where it softens with each wash. Kind of neat, huh?! Regardless, you need a towel to lay out on the sand to soak up some sun. Note: not all the below items are eco-friendly!

4. Breton Striped Tee

Quintessential summertime wardrobe style piece: the Breton stripe. Of course, it wouldn't be on my back if it wasn't Saint James, though. If it's good enough for Coco Chanel to sport on her vacation days in Normandy, then they're good enough for me!

5. Sunglasses

Time to throw some shade. In the glaring summer sunshine, sunglasses are essential. They're also difficult to manufacture sustainably, so bear that in mind. You can head to EcoCult for a list of sustainable sunglasses, but this is one of those instances of "balance." While sunglasses are intended for protection purposes, they're really a style piece, so here are some of my faves:

6. Straw Accessories

Straw accessories are a summer staple--and especially on-trend this year. Whether in the form of a tote bag to store all your other items, a hat to block the sun, or even your sandals, straw is the name of the game this summer.

7. Water Bottle

In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic waste, especially at the beach where it ends up in the water, opt for a reusable water bottle instead! Not to mention, it'll keep your liquid cooler longer... win-win!

8. Beach Read!

Summer reading is something that I'm trying to commit to doing more often. There's always some excuse as to why I don't have time to read, but that's about to change. While lounging at the beach, by the pool or on the patio, pick up any of these fun, best-selling books: