Planet-Friendly Tips for an Epic Beach Day

There’s nothing better for beating the heat on those hot summer days than heading to the beach. Whether you’re heading out for a day of surf and sand near the ocean, setting up for some relaxation lakeside, or gearing up for a day of play near the river, a little beachside getaway can’t be beat.

But there are definitely ways to turn your epic beach day into an excursion that’s also friendly for the environment! Because glass is discouraged–and in many places, forbidden–from use at beach areas, many people unfortunately turn to the option they know best: plastic. This article will show you how to not only get rid of risky glass and harmful plastic containers altogether for your beach trips, but also illustrate why the alternatives are simply better options all around.

What’s Wrong With Glass and Plastic Bottles?

The primary reason glass is often banned in public parks, playgrounds and beaches is the one that seems most obvious: it breaks relatively easily, and when it does, it creates a dangerous mess that poses risks to humans and wildlife alike. Nobody wants to step on an unseen shard of glass in the sand when they’re throwing the football around on the beach, or lay down their beach towel only to find they’ve set up shop on broken glass. While a nasty cut on the foot can ruin your day at the beach, it’s even worse for the animals that inhabit these areas–they can accidentally swallow very small pieces of glass, which can easily be fatal. The same can happen to young children, too. So, for obvious reasons, glass is not ideal for beach use.

It might seem, on the surface, that plastic bottles and containers might be safer then, right? Not really. In fact, because of the toxic properties of plastic bottles, the sheer volume of them in use, and the fact that they take a millennium to decompose, one could easily make the argument that plastic is even worse than glass as a vehicle for drinks or food at the beach. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that at least 14 million tons of plastic enter the ocean annually, composing 80 percent of all marine debris. This immense flotilla of plastic waste poses a severe threat to marine life, which can choke on or get tangled in plastic pollution. It’s also a major threat to the overall health of coastal shorelines and the entire marine ecosystem, which in turn creates a dangerous environment for human life.

How Can I Make My Beach Day More Environmentally Friendly?

Get rid of the plastic and glass! We’ve put together a checklist of some excellent items that will help prepare you for an epic beach day that you can feel good about–you’ll get some sun, enjoy the water, and leave the beach just as clean and beautiful as you found it. First things first: your beach necessities! Of course you’ll need a beach towel, beach bag, quality food containers, on top of bringing as many water-resistant beach day essentials as possible. Our list here is a comprehensive set of suggestions to help make your beach visit a perfect blend of fun, relaxation, and eco-friendliness.

What Should I Take With Me for a Day at the Beach?

The best beach gear is versatile enough to support any vibe, whether you’re heading to the water with a towel, book, and umbrella or if you’ve got some more intense play (or partying) in mind. First things first when you’re planning on a day in the sun: hydration!

Klean Kanteen Food and Drink Containers

You’ll want to have plenty of fresh, clean water on hand for everyone to ensure your day at the beach is safe and enjoyable, and there is no better way to bring your H2O to the site than in a Klean Kanteen. Our wide, versatile range of insulated bottles, canisters, cups, food boxes, and tumblers will help you keep your water cold and refreshing for hours, no matter how hot it gets out there.

If you’re going with a big group, filling a couple of larger-sized TKPro canisters and bringing along a set of our stainless steel cups is a great way to keep your friends and family hydrated for the long haul over the course of the day, and you’ll create zero plastic or glass waste while doing it. And Klean Kanteen bottles and canisters all come in a wide variety of styles and colors, so you can personalize your bottle to match your mood or personality, whether that’s represented by one of the many vibrant colors we have or a creative, fun pattern.

If you’re thinking about a more chill vibe that requires a glass (or two) of wine and a beach chair, fill up your canister at home with your wine of choice–a rosé is our recommendation for the really hot days!—and enjoy it at the perfect temperature the rest of the day with our new, convenient insulated 25-ounce bottle with a pour-through cap, perfect for wine.

Similarly, nobody wants to have to cut their time at the beach short just because they didn’t pack anything to eat. Instead of trying to figure out which foods will hold up to the heat throughout the day, or stuffing sandwiches into a hot backpack and hoping they’ll hold up until lunchtime, you should instead go for a solution that is sanitary, durable, and your best bet for keeping your food the temperature it should be. Klean Kanteen makes a number of food canisters and food boxes, perfect for a beach day! From filling up a stainless steel, airtight container with some fresh snacks to loading up your Klean Kanteen bento-style food box with a full meal, there are zero-plastic, zero-waste options at hand, no matter how you want to handle the food situation for your beach visit.

What Else Should I Take With Me for a Day at the Beach?

A cold Sierra Nevada beer on a hot summer day at the beach is as heavenly as it sounds, and it’s also a great way to extend sustainable practices to your recreation. We are proud to partner with Sierra Nevada because of their decades-long commitment to pursuing similar values to ours: sustainability, focus on the environment, and “reduce, reuse, recycle as a business model.” A practically zero-waste facility with some of the most advanced recycling processes and sustainable-oriented practices in the craft beer industry, Sierra Nevada stands as a crown jewel of eco-friendly production. On top of all that, of course, they make really great beer.

Drinking a crisp Hazy Little Thing or a classic Pale Ale from a chilled Klean Kanteen stainless steel cup, toes buried in the sand in front of a sunset or around the warmth of a beach bonfire? That sounds like an unbeatable combination to us.

Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing Beer on a rock in front of the water

Portable Fire Pit

When the sun starts to slip into the water on the horizon, that fear starts to set in that your glorious beach day might be coming to an end. But all sundown means is that the party is carrying into the night, and there is no better companion to a beach party after dark than a bonfire (acoustic guitar optional). But instead of circling around a giant, smoldering campfire billowing out smoke, we’d recommend another partner of ours who puts stainless steel to great use: Solo Stove. Their double-walled steel fire pits are designed to burn firewood just like any other campfire, but with ultra-efficient burning due to the airflow design in each stove, which are made of 304 stainless steel–known for its high resistance to oxidation and corrosion, which makes it perfect for repeated outdoor use. Solo Stove makes several models but the one you’ll probably want to stow in the truck for your beach excursion is the Bonfire, the aptly named smaller version is more portable than their at-home fire pits. Paired with a cold beer, plenty of friends and some good music, the addition of a Solo Stove bonfire is one of those touches that could change your beach day from great to truly memorable.


A day in the sun can be rough on your eyes without the proper protection, but Zeal Optics makes sunglasses that will protect your peepers in style–while also being part of a planet-friendly corporate campaign that we are proud to partner with. Zeal contributes one percent of its gross sales to environmental causes as part of the 1% for the Planet initiative, and also donates to environmental preservation nonprofits.

Plus, Zeal has a huge selection of different frames in multiple colors and styles at reasonable prices–truly, designer looks without designer prices. With 52 frames to choose from, you’re sure to be able to find the right pick that matches you style, no matter what that is–whether it’s a thicker, hefty frame that will give off a sportier vibe or something a little more retro chic better befitting a loungy beach afternoon, Zeal almost assuredly has something for you.

Reusable Bags

A direct replacement for all of your harmful plastic bags, reusable bags are one of the best ways to reduce single-use plastic waste out there. While we are fond of great companies that take steps to be involved in sustainability and environmental commitment, we are even more inspired by those who begin, like us, with a planet-oriented mission from the outset. One such company is Chico Bag, which began its business with a multi-faced “Pledge for the Planet” that includes climate-neutral certification, membership in 1% for the Planet, the Zero Waste Pay It Forward Program, rePETe, and the Fair Labor Association for Ethical Manufacturing, as well as being a certified B-Corp. ChicoBag estimates that it has prevented the use of 22.6 billion single-use items—and that is sustainability we can get behind!

Of course, they wouldn’t be known as one of the world’s best reusable bags if they weren’t a fantastic product, too. Made from 100-percent recycled PET fabric, with a 100-percent recycled PET cord, 100-percent recycled polyurethane cord lock, and 78-percent recycled aluminum carabiner, the ChicoBag is durable, compact, and perfect for throwing in anything and everything you can think of for your beach trip, from snacks to sunscreen. With a few ChicoBags on hand, you’ll never need a plastic bag again—and the beach will thank you for it.


Protect your head and shade your eyes with not just any old hat, but a high-quality, stylish fit from bigtruck. A huge collection of great-looking trucker-style caps is available in a ton of styles, ranging from multi-color panels with matching mesh to custom patches and your choice from a variety of thread colors. With this much customization available, there is a bigtruck option for everyone, and the adjustable enclosure and classic trucker-style mesh in the back of the cap ensures a breathable fit for all, key for those warm beach visits.

bigtruck is also a certified B Corp, committing to a global movement of sustainability and environmental best practices. More than 2,400 companies are part of this worldwide initiative for businesses to become a force for good, and bigtruck is one of them—so not only will you be rocking a cool, stylish hat at the beach, but you’ll know that your purchase supported a company that’s doing the right thing.

Enjoy Your Eco-Friendly Beach Day!

Beach trips are the perfect way to enjoy some summer fun while also being Earth-friendly. Many beaches offer activities like swimming, surfing, and kayaking that don’t require any special equipment or fuel, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the sand and sun without generating any pollution. Just remember to pack out what you bring in, and to leave the beach cleaner than you found it. With a little effort, we can all help to keep our beaches beautiful and healthy for everyone to enjoy.

With a little bit of planning, you can have an epic beach day without using any plastic or leaving any waste behind. First, invest in a few good reusable water bottles. Klean Kanteens are a great option because they're made of stainless steel and will keep your drinks cold all day long. Second, pack some snacks that don't require individually wrapped items. Trail mix, nuts, and fruit are all excellent choices. Finally, be sure to bring along a reusable bag to carry all of your items. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the beach while also doing your part to protect the environment.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your beach towels and head on out for a day of fun in the sun!