#SEAthechange: A Low Waste Beach Day

When it comes to the beach, most people will remember their towel, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water. The basics! Low wasters take it a step further. We know to plan for the unexpected! What’s in my low waste beach bag?
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Reef safe sunscreen (plastic free)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Hat
  • Snack (plastic free)
  • Book
  • Reusable mask
  • Plastic bag
You’re probably confused by the last item. It’s something I only recently started bringing! After reading the list, most would think “Why would you make sure all of your things are plastic free and then bring a plastic bag?” Seems counterproductive right? The short answer is: because not everyone is a low waster. Unfortunately, a lot of people won‘t think about the things they bring and buy at the beach. They’ll drink out of their plastic water bottles and unwrap their protein bars, letting the wrappers blow away with the wind! To them, it‘s “just one water bottle”. That’s where we (and the plastic bag) come in!
 
Bringing a small plastic bag comes in handy when you want to clean up waste on the beach. It’s frustrating to clean up after other people, but your efforts will make a huge difference! There are a lot of environmental groups at a local level that organize neighborhood clean ups. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we made their jobs a little easier by picking up a bag’s worth of waste? If we have the privilege of enjoying the great outdoors, we need to take responsibility and care for them. Think of the beach as your home! Would you ever invite guests over with Kit Kat wrappers and bottle caps all over your floor? Gross!
 
There are a ton of things you can put in a low waste beach bag. If you’re going to be there all day, it’s probably not a bad idea to pack a lunch and cloth napkin! Rather listen to music than read? Pack your headphones! What you put in is unique to your beach day. These are just some suggestions that have helped me minimize my waste at the beach. Plastic free snacks can also be tricky if it’s not something you’re used to. Try swapping out plastic zip-lock bags for small reusable containers! If you have to use plastic, just make sure you dispose of it responsibly. It shouldn’t be another low waster's job to clean up your trash. Now go pack your low waste bag, put on some sustainable sunscreen, and enjoy your beach day!
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Written by Olivia Whitehouse
 
Follow Liv and her sustainable journey by visiting her Instagram @lowwaste_liv or checking out her blog lowwasteliv.com.
This article first appeared in our Recurrent email newsletter on August 26, 2020. To subscribe to Recurrent and get a story from our community of sustainability, education, and advocacy every Wednesday, click here.

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