Green your beach trip

Ah summer … season of hazy days, sticky humidity and the often futile hope that a cool change will soon sweep on through. It's no wonder then that at this time of year the call of sand and sea grows increasingly insistent. Who are we to resist? And in any case, why would we want to? Join Tracey Sargent on her holiday preparations. As one of our regular Biome Bloggers, we love to hear how Tracey's sustainable lifestyle journey unfolds. If you have stories to share, join our Biome Blog Program. Go to the Green Living Guide and send us an email today.

Tracey gets packing

Aside from packing a broad brim hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and a fluffy beach towel - there are a few other ways to help make your next beach trip as enjoyable, and coincidentally, as eco-friendly as possible. There's no need to delay your response to that tantalising oceanic call; these considerations don't require much time or effort, just a little bit of forward planning and preparation. Rather than rely on the often expensive, unhealthy and over-packaged cafe or takeaway treats you might encounter beachside, consider packing your own selection of treats. That way you'll never be caught short of a snack once hunger strikes. Be sure to have a few nibbles handy for the road trip too - raw nuts, dried apricots and homemade bliss balls all make great options. For perfect on-the-beach snack ideas, think of quick and easy bites that won't weigh you down. Some favourites include celery and carrot sticks (with peanut butter or hummus), chopped pieces of fruit like watermelon or orange, and whole fruits such as apples and bananas. When something a little more substantial is needed, salad wraps filled with lettuce, carrot, avocado and sprouts make a healthy, no-nonsense lunch time choice. Of course you'll be wanting your treats to arrive safely at your destination, you can help that wish by packing your goodies in a suitable container. Compartmentalised, leakproof boxes are ideal for keeping lots of little nibbles in place. For snacks best served cold, insulated containers or bags help hold in the chill until it's time to serve up. Speaking of staying cool, don't forget how dehydrating time spent in the sun and sea can be; make your reusable water bottle your ultimate beach companion, and check in regularly for hydrating top-ups throughout the day. If it's starting to sound like your hands may be very full, it's easy to avoid multiple trips from the car if you're organised. Instead of trying to carry all your bits and pieces individually, or in environmentally unfriendly plastic bags, give some thought to stashing everything within a stylish tote bag. Beach totes also make fantastic multi-taskers away from the beach, working well as reusable shopping bags. It's also a really lovely idea to travel with a few spare garbage bags to collect any rubbish you may find, and ensure it is appropriately disposed of (if we each do a little, our beaches will remain beautiful and pristine). Aside from reapplying your sunscreen periodically, there are a couple of other ways to look after your skin while you're out and about. You might like to travel with something to discourage biting insects and other skin irritants. There are lots of insect repellent options to choose from - everything from creams to balms and sprays. Another useful addition to your beach travel kit is a hand sanitiser, perfect to remove any after lunch stickiness from fingers or to disinfect your hands after a trip to the bathroom. If you're planning to travel with your canine friend, don't forget about their needs too - but keep them simple. Rather than take a bulky dog bowl, make use of a collapsible water bowl that is easy to refill. Make sure pooch has access to suitable shade and perhaps a towel of their own to chill out on. Last but not least, think about packing a separate dog toy so you're not constantly fighting for ownership of the ball during a game of beach cricket. Because no one enjoys trying to bowl with a slobbery tennis ball. Perhaps you have some beach essentials of your own? Please share them in the comments below.

Further Reading:

  1. 1 million women. 2015. 8 tips for an incredible and sustainable camping trip. Available from: 25 November 2015.
  2. eco18. 2012. Tips for an Eco-Friendly Day at the Beach. Available from: 25 November 2015.
  3. Good On You. 2015. 12 Ways to be a Sustainable Traveller. Available from: . 25 November 2015.
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