Picnic and Beach Day Essentials
Please note that we recommend reusing and upcycling items you already own and only add to your collection if you need to. Our main goal is to reduce waste and reuse as many items as possible, but we also would like to spotlight small and sustainable businesses for those looking to purchase new.
Tents and Umbrellas
This wasn’t on my list until we adopted a puppy. Purchasing a tent was the greatest addition to our outdoor equipment. A tent is especially great because your kids, pups, and cooler will have shade all day, and you won’t need to rearrange mid-day.
The Sunbear Co. makes an incredible tent that is both sustainable and easy to set up. The tent is made of 100% recycled fishnet in sunny California.
Apart from being gorgeous, the Land and Sand Umbrella is eco-friendly and made from 50 recycled water bottles. It provides UPF 50+ protection from the sun under the large 1.8m canopy. It is also lightweight for an easy, fuss-free setup.
Outdoor Blankets and Towels
A good outdoor blanket is a summer essential. We keep ours in the trunk of the car and pull it out anytime we go for a walk by the lake.
The Nipomo blanket is handwoven in Mexico by skilled artisans. Nipomo is a fair trade, women-run business based out of San Fransico, California.
Hilana creates a variety of beautiful towels made of 50% recycled cotton. Our tassels are hand-tied in Turkey according to the ancient Turkish tradition. Hilana is also a B Certified business, women-owned, and vegan.
Beach ToysLoveLotte makes an incredible set of biodegradable beach toys. Their patented ergonomic handles are perfect for little hands, and if lost, you can feel confident that you haven’t added to the plastic floating around our lakes and oceans.
A great set of sand toys is essential for a day of fun in the sun. Green Toys has a great alternative to traditional plastic beach toys. Although these are made of plastic, the material is 100% recycled and BPA-free. They are also packaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks.
Pro Tip | Store your kid’s beach toys in a produce bag for easy storage and fuss-free cleaning. Shake out the bag of toys and keep the sand on the beach rather than in your car.
Totes, Picnic Baskets and Coolers
The perfect tote bag does exist, and it’s by Baggu. This tote is made on recycled canvas and matte silver hardware. The super chic tote features a zip pocket to secure credit cards, bobby pins, keys and more. This tote is also machine washable and offers a 40” adjustable strap with top carry handles.
Business and Pleasure offers a super cute cooler bag that is sure to fit everything you would need for a picnic by the water. This cooler bag is made of recycled material (Cotton 40%, Polyester 40%, Recycled PVC 15%, Leather 5%).
In the market for a traditional picnic basket? Picnic Time offers a picnic in every shape, size and colour. Made of wicker and cotton canvas, these beautiful baskets are durable and pretty spacious.
Bottles and Tumblers
The Brumate insulated wine bottle holds a whole bottle of wine or water and stays cool for up to 24 hours. The bottle is leak-proof, and Brumate guarantees that your wine/beverage will be free of any metallic taste. The gift set includes two matching tumblers perfect for watching the sunset with your besties or partner.
Napkins and Cutlery
Hemp linen napkins for the win! These Everyday Napkins will keep both the planet and your wallet happy. They are reusable and easily washable. These napkins are designed to withstand washing and wear. They can be cleaned in the washing machine or by hand in cool water. Hemp adds enough structure to the linen to make these napkins dryer-friendly and resist excessive wrinkling that you would typically get when washing 100% linen.
Bamboo flatware is a great alternative to plastic. It is just as lightweight, reusable and this set by Bambaw is also dishwasher safe. Also, while researching this post, I came across this collapsable set by Outlery, which was too gorgeous not to mention.
Looking for the perfect pair of flip-flops? Indosole offers comfort, style and sustainability all in one. The soles of these classic sandals are made of recycled tires and are 100% waterproof.
The Zensole sandal does more than perfectly cradle your foot. Made of natural rubber and rice husks for enhanced traction and wear-resistance, these sandals help support global weavers, rice farmers, and rubber farmers.
When looking for swimwear, I try to stick to brands that use recycled nylon and deadstock material. I recently purchased a beautiful bikini from Snrkl and am in love! They also offer a made-to-order option to avoid overproduction and waste.
The Girlfriend Collective also has a beautiful selection of size-inclusive swimwear. Each piece is made using recycled material.
I currently have this hat in my cart. Tilley responsibly sources and upcycles its materials to produce beautiful and protective hats. The list of (impressive) specs is long, so I have listed it below.
- Rated UPF 50+
- DWR (Durable Water Repellent) Finish
- Hidden Pocket
- Moisture-wicking Hydrofil®
- Made in Canada
- OEKO-TEX® certification
Genusee eyewear is made in Flint, Michigan, from 100% recycled plastic water bottles used in the ongoing Flint Water Crisis. I have included important information from their website below that outlines how the Flint Water Crisis has impacted more than just what is depicted in the media.
“At the height of the water crisis, the city of Flint was using more than 20 million water bottles a day to meet their daily needs. This resulted in a surplus of plastic being brought into the city. Post-use, these bottles have been collected for recycling, re-processed, and resold outside of the city. Other corporations have been benefiting from Flint’s disaster. rPET is a valuable recycled material that could be used to create jobs, boost the local economy, and benefit the community that has been without clean water since April 24, 2014.Genusee prioritizes the use of pre-existing materials in the supply chain over creating new ones. By redesigning the lifecycle of plastic water bottles and upcycling bottles into a product of need and purpose, Genusee is able to bring the value of rPET back into Flint - where it belongs.” (Genusee, 2021.)
This is an incredible mission backed by a beautiful product. If there is one company you decide to purchase from this list, I hope it’s from Genusee.
To learn more about how Genusse is giving back to Flint please visit their Learn page here.