Zero waste at the beach

With beach time in full swing we’ve really perfected our Zero Waste beach routine. Living in Barcelona does have the awesome perk that the beach just just a few minutes away and always accessible.

But it can also lead to excesses like eating out and creating waste if you are not well prepared. How’s a brief look into how we prepare for a day at the beach, especially if we are traveling further along the coast.


Have a beach picnic

We usually make our plans for the day after finishing breakfast. With our bellies full, our thinking is usually more clear and we can organize better.

If we know we will be out for a few hours we plan to have a picnic meal at the beach to save money. But we are also now more conscious of the waste produced.

Planning ahead helps us to prepare a meal in advance, use our own reusable containers, and spend longer at the beach because we don’t need to leave just to eat.

Check out this article for all my zero waste picnic tips.

Bring plenty of water in a reusable bottle

Dehydration and sunstroke can be very harmful when you spend a long day in the sun. But it doesn’t mean you need to create more plastic waste with purchase bottles of water.

Like any other day, carry your refillable bottles (one for each family member).

And if you’re really prepared, fill the bottle ¾ of the way with water the night before and freeze. As it melts you will have ice cold water (and no burst bottles).

If you’re not so prepared as some ice sticks (long ice cubes) before leaving the house to keep your water cool.

Bring a compostable bag wet swimwear

It might sound strange but I always carry a compostable dog poop bag with us to the beach to bring back our wet clothes.

It small, efficient, and doesn’t create plastic waste.

And speaking of keeping things nice and dry…

Bring a microfiber towel

They dry quickly and keep everything in your bag intact.

But remember when you are washing them to use the Guppyfriend washing bag (also available from Patagonia)  to avoid those particles making their way into the ocean.

Invest in natural sunscreen

Avoiding plastic for sunscreen is particularly hard to find. Look for sunscreen with all natural ingredients that are sold in metal tins.

Some great options are:

Bring waste free entertainment

  • Travel with your kindle instead of buying a paperback book.
  • Bring a wooden paddle game with rubber ball.
  • Invest in metal kids sand bucket and tools (be sure to keep them out the sun).

There are just some option for waste free to have fun without creating any waste. And they are items that you will have for a long time.


Travel by bike

You can even be more sustainable with you beach trip in how you get there. Use public transportation or travel by bike.

It’s a great way to get around, and you’ll get in a bit of a workout.

There are just some of our tips for a waste free day at the beach. What do you do to stay waste free? Let me know in the comments!

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