A Green Day at the Beach
Summer is upon us and with that lazy beach days are on many people’s mind. A day at the beach should be fun and relaxing and things should be convenient – but not at the expense of the environment. Here are some tips on how to reduce the environmental impact of your beach (or pool) day, weekend, or trip.
Pack it in, Pack it out
This Sierra Nevada hikers’ motto also applies for beach goers: if you carried a full bottle of Coke to the beach you can carry the empty one out. Obvious, right? Not so much! According to Ocean Conservancy the most commonly found trash on the beach includes disposable forks, knives, and spoons; food wrappers and containers; beverage bottles and cans; as well as straws, bottle caps, and single-use bags. A lot of these disposables – which should be avoided in the first place – end up being dragged into the ocean when the next tide rolls in and polluting them. In addition to this everyday trash, the organization found a dizzying array of other stuff during their 2017 beach clean up: 28 barbecue grills, 14 couches, 114 pairs of sunglasses, and 39 hair brushes – just to name a few.
Recycle, Reuse – or Better yet Reduce
A day on the beach (or a road trip or a hike) can be pretty bad for the environment because of all the disposables used. With a bit of planning ahead, most of the disposables can be avoided altogether. Here are some examples: instead of disposable water bottles you can carry refillable ones. With a cute insulated bottle bag the water will keep cool and you will look stylish on top.
Small cloth bags with draw strings can hold nuts and fruit. If that is too “Little House on the Prairie” for you, reusable plastic containers aren’t great but a hell of a lot better than single use plastic baggies.
Same for cutlery: sturdy plastic or cheap metal pieces can be washed and reused many times. Utensil rolls can be made easily with fairly small pieces of fabric (this is were FabMo with it many beautiful and sturdy pieces of designer fabric comes in!) to keep your “beach silverware” organized and neat. If you choose an oilcloth for the lining they will be easy to clean, even if the mayo from the potato salad managed to get all over the place.
Some things, as cute as they may look on fancy magazine shots, should simply be banned from our lives altogether whether it is just another day at the office or the ultimate beach day. First and foremost plastic straws come to mind. They are used a single time, are extremely harmful to wild life when washed into oceans, lakes and rivers and utterly useless. Unless you have a broken jaw wired shut so it can heal, the grown-up thing to do is to drink like a grown-up without a neon yellow of bubblegum pink straw. And kids, even young ones, will understand that they can’t have straws if one explains to them that they hurt animals by poking them.
At FabMo our mission is to make materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill available for creative reuse. If you think about a day at the beach and all the things you need many opportunities to use FabMo materials come to mind: how about making a fun beach bag out of sturdy FabMo interior design fabric? How does a whimsical one-of-a-kind beach blanket from 8 inch square sound? One thing is clear: it will certainly stand out! Our Project of the Month is a cute sunglass case – easy to make, very useful and a wonderful gift for – pretty much everybody. Zippered pouches can keep keys, phones or ear buds clean of sand and fabric cases protect a Kindle or iPad from the elements.
A day at the beach can definitely be fun, relaxing, enjoyable – and green!