While the lunar calendar drags spring out for a few more weeks, we say phooey to that. As far as we're concerned, summer starts today—barbecues, bikinis, bike rides, beer and all. And we're helping smooth the transition to the fairest season by laying out a list of all you need for green beaching. Now get going—surf's up!
Shown above the jump, from left to right:
1. While we strongly discourage mobile connectivity at the beach—leave the BlackBerry at home, folks!—you'll still need a way to carry all your stuff. Blue Q's colorful Overnighter Bag ($17.99, shown in the Landscape pattern) is a carryall with a conscience, made of 95 percent woven polypropylene.
2. Another option is the Original rePETe bag from ChicoBag ($7.99)—emphasis on the chic, of course. The tote is made of 99 percent recycled content with 73 percent of the total weight from post-consumer recycled materials. Its skimpy 1.5 ounces can carry up to 25 pounds.
3. Or, play up the nautical theme with Ella Vickers' Rope Tote Lg-Laser Sail bag ($172). The artist spins recycled sail cloths into chic and functional accessories.
4. Keep sand castles green with Green Toys' Recycled Plastic Sand Play Set ($19.99), phthalate- and BPA-free playthings made of 100 percent recycled milk jugs.
5. Got a beach picnic? Kids Konserve's Round Food Containers ($18.50 for two) are perfect for toting lunch to and from the beach. The eight-ounce stainless steel containers come with recycled-plastic BPA-free lids.
6. Stay hydrated with a colorful Waterbox Water Bottle ($12) from PBTeen. The BPA-, phthalate- and lead-free plastic is durable enough to go from beach to bike ride—and back again and again and again.
7. Cut your teeth a bit with Preserve's On the Go Cutlery ($5.50 for a set of eight forks, eight spoons and eight knives). The company's 100-percent-recycled products are made from #5 polypropylene plastic collected from its Gimme 5 program and from companies such as Stonyfield Farm, who donates discarded yogurt containers.
8. Also from Preserve: On the Go Tableware ($7 for eight large plates) to match. They're dishwasher safe!
9. That's a wrap! Opt for bamboo/organic cotton beach towels from DreamSacks ($29.50 each, shown left) or oversize striped organic cotton beach towels from Willow Home ($56, shown right).
10. Keep the rays in check with Age Reversal SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen from Desert Essence's Organics line, a collection of products free of parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, phthalates, artificial colors, silicones, EDTA, glycol, and petroleum-based ingredients.
11. Get your kicks with a pair of flip-flops made of recycled PET materials. The Women's Flippee ($30, shown top) from Simple Shoes and Teva's Lennox Sandals for men ($15, shown center) and women ($18, shown bottom) are all beach-ready options with an eco focus.
12. Lastly, toast summer the green way with a wine bottle holder from Uncommon Goods. This one's made of the bottom halves of original metal and glass seltzer bottles collected from pre-1940s Argentina. We'll drink to that!