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Sustainable summer? Sorted! 10 simple swaps for a happy planet

Summer brings with it an exciting lineup of barbecues, holidays and plenty of time off school, so you’d be forgiven if sustainability isn’t at the top of your to-do list. 

With all that fun, it can be easy to opt for less planet-friendly items in favour of convenience, we get it. But it’s less about being perfectly zero-waste all summer long, and more about the simple, everyday swaps we can make to work towards a better, more sustainable future. 

Many conventional summer essentials, like sunscreen and sunglasses, are made from non-biodegradable plastics and contain hidden toxins, which is why here at Eco Ness, we stock a wide range of eco-friendly and sustainable items instead. You can thank us later...

To get you through the summer without having a negative impact on the earth, here are 10 simple switches you can make:

NO. 1

Ditch: Synthetic chemical rich sunscreen

Switch: Reef safe sunscreen

Did you know that many traditional sunscreens contain harsh preservatives and other synthetic chemicals that are harmful for your skin and the environment? 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen are thought to end up in our oceans each year disrupting natural reef cycles. Not good for our underwater friends.

Our sunscreen range from Amazinc is 100% harmless to marine life, is plastic free and gives you and your family high protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. 

Try the Mineral Butter SPF 50+, its handy tin is the perfect size to throw in your bag for touch ups throughout the day!

NO. 2

Ditch: Single use plastic straws

Switch: Zero waste club collapsible straw

Ah, the dreaded plastic straw. To avoid adding to the 4.7 billion plastic straws that get thrown away every year in the UK, opt for a reusable alternative from Zero Waste Club.

Made from planet-friendly stainless steel, it collapses within itself to fit into your bag, pocket or purse, so you and your family can sip your smoothies without guilt whenever you want.


Ditch: Plastic buckets and spades

Switch: Eco-friendly silicone beach toys

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the coast this summer, save yourself the hassle of bulky, plastic beach toys, and switch to an eco-friendly silicone alternative from Scrunch Kids.

This sustainably sourced material is flexible, meaning sand moulds, spades and buckets can be folded, squished and scrunched into your bag without damage. Sand castles never looked so good, eh?

NO. 4

Ditch: Planet-harming sunnies

Switch: Recycled ocean plastic sunglasses

Many sunglasses are made from plastic and end up hanging around for thousands of years, leaching unwanted chemicals into the earth and oceans.

Waterhaul’s range of snazzy sunnies are made from 100% recycled polypropylene trawl nets, the most troublesome fishing waste found on UK beaches. With lots of styles to choose from, like these Atlantic Blue Mirror lenses, there’s something for all the family. 


Ditch: Cling film and tin foil

Switch: Silicone stretch lids

Summer = barbecues! And barbecues mean food, lots of it. Keep any leftovers fresh with silicone stretch lids instead of plastic wrap or tin foil.

These mighty products knock out two environmental hazards in one - plastic waste and food waste - by creating an airtight seal around almost any container. They can even be used to preserve cut fruit and veg, like melon, onion or lemon.


Ditch: Single use/plastic bags

Switch: A sturdy jute bucket bag

A decent bag is a must for summer, whether you’re staycation-ing, shopping, or heading to the beach. Invest in style that’s made to last, like a Jute Bucket Bag from Turtle Bags.

Handmade in Tangail (a rural town in Bangladesh) by women in an inspiring empowerment programme that supports vulnerable women, this bag brings with it more than a durable holdall for your beach towel. 

NO. 7

Ditch: Aerosol deodorant sprays

Switch: Black Palm natural deodorant

Keep the family’s underarms feeling fresh and smelling sweet all summer long with a natural deodorant. 

This Sweet Orange & Patchouli Deodorant Clay from Black Palm contains no nasty aluminum or synthetic fragrances like traditional sprays and is 100% plastic-free, making it completely safe for both you and the environment. 

NO. 8

Ditch: The iPad screen...

Switch: A plantable book!

Keep your little ones entertained off-screen this summer with activities that get them actively learning.

This clever plantable book from Willsow Books tells the adorable short story of “The carrot that was too big for his bed”. When you’re done reading together about how carrots grow, you can plant the pages with your children and watch the process in real life.

Who knows, if they grow their own, they might actually eat them!

NO. 9

Ditch: Multiple shampoo and body wash bottles

Switch: Oat of Control Hair and Everywhere Bar

Trips away with the family can mean multiple bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. To reduce the plastic and save space in your luggage, opt for an all-in-one soap bar instead. 

Oat of Control’s Hair and Everywhere Bar will tackle stubborn grime thanks to its hardy oat formula, and leave you and your family feeling soft with luxurious oat silk and a delicious, lemony scent that smells good enough to eat (please don’t though!).

NO. 10

Ditch: Plastic filled dish sponges

Switch: Compostable eco sponge cloths

Last but by no means least, clean up after summer fun with compostable sponges. Unlike regular dish sponges, these eco-friendly alternatives from our own brand Eleven Eighty One are made from 70% cotton, 30% cellulose (wood pulp) and decorated with water-based biodegradable ink.

Super absorbent, quick-drying, plastic-free, washable and reusable, they replace around 15 rolls of paper towel, avoiding plastic packaging and reducing overall waste sent to landfills.


We’d love to hear all about what you’re up to this summer! Have you considered eco-alternatives for your summer essentials, or will this be something you incorporate more of now you have these simple swaps? Tag us in your sustainable snaps on Instagram, at @shop.econess!

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