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7 Eco-Friendly Essentials For A Sustainable Summer

Ah, summer! Long bright evenings, the sunshine on your face, ice cream cone in hand and plastic waste bobbing on the waves… wait, what?

Yep, that’s right. While ocean plastic pollution is a year-round issue, a report from WWF found that waste entering the Mediterranean Sea goes up by almost 40% during the summer - 95% of it being plastic.

Countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea are holiday hotspots for UK tourists, which form a big chunk of the over 200 million tourists that visit the area each year. With that many visitors in the summer months, it’s no surprise that Mediterranean beaches are said to be responsible for up to 80% of marine litter. Therefore, if we want to avoid reaching the prediction that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans worldwide - we need to do something.

Fortunately, by making smarter, greener choices we can be part of the solution. If you don’t want your perfect summer spoilt by plastic, then it’s about time you sought out some eco-friendly alternatives to your summer essentials.

Check out our top picks for what’s now available at Filling Good!

1) Suncream

With record-breaking UK summers turning into the norm (hello, climate change), it’s now more important than ever to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Yes, even in the UK.

At Filling Good, we’ve got three wonderful sun protection products you can slather yourself in from head to toe. Not only are they plastic-free, but they’re also packed with natural ingredients, sustainable and great for your skin.

AMAZINC! Mineral Sunscreen comes in a 100% recyclable aluminium bottle that’s light for packing and ensures no surprise spills in your luggage when travelling. Using only mineral filters and natural ingredients, it provides high UV protection for your skin with SPF 50. The creamy texture makes it easy to apply, and it’s suitable for vegans, too!

AMAZINC! Mineral Butter also comes packaged in 100% recyclable aluminium! It’s ideal for everyday use as a moisturiser or makeup base thanks to its light, fast-absorbing texture and soft pink hue. The vegan formula protects against daily UVA and UVB exposure, and the mix of natural oils makes it water resistant, too, so you can dive in for a swim knowing your skin is safe.

Shade Sunscreen is dubbed one of the UK's top ethical sunscreens, and it’s also one of our best sellers! Free from toxic chemicals, unnecessary fragrances, liquid polymers and micro-plastics make Shade Sunscreen great for you and the planet. Made from 72% organic, sun-resistant ingredients, the formula offers mineral-based broad-spectrum sun protection for everyone. We’ve got mini tins of 15ml and larger tins of 100ml available in the shop!

2) Sunglasses

Now we’ve protected our skin, it’s time to think about our eyes. Sunglasses aren’t only a summer staple for making you look cool, they’re also essential for protecting your peepers from harmful rays.

Waterhaul is doing its bit by taking the ocean plastic issue and turning it into a solution. Its trendy sunglasses are made from 0% virgin plastics and 100% recycled monofilament gill nets recovered in Cornwall. These nets are particularly dangerous as they’re virtually invisible underwater, causing many marine animals to get entangled.

We stock Waterhaul Sunglasses in different styles (Harlyn, Kynance and Fitzroy) and colours (aqua and slate), so you can choose which frames best suit your face. The scratch-resistant Mineral Glass+ lenses offer ultimate UVA/UVB 400 protection and are completely sustainable since glass is infinitely recyclable.

3) Flip Flops

Every year, 3 billion petroleum-based flip-flops are produced with most being tossed after a few wears or lost to the ocean. They contribute to one of the largest ocean pollutants - polyurethane.

That sounds rubbish to us.

Instead, we like Waves flip-flops which are handcrafted, eco-friendly and made from natural FSC® rubber. They mould to the shape of your foot making them way comfier than plastic alternatives and are 100% biodegradable, vegan and recyclable.

Waves not only do good for your feet and the planet, but they also do good for the people who produce them. The FSC® certification indicates that the rubber is sourced from responsibly managed forests and that the rubber farmers receive fair treatment and pay. And, no plastic waste going into the oceans. It’s a win-win!

4) Beach Towels

Hate going home with a soggy, sandy towel? Dreaming of a quick-dry towel that’s stylish and sustainable? Us, too. That’s why we stock a range of colourful Dock & Bay products that are made to last a lifetime.

From beach towels, kids' ponchos, hair wraps and bags, all of Dock & Bay’s products are made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic bottles which would have otherwise been left to pollute the planet. The unique loopless fabric doesn’t cling to sand, so you can shake it off and leave it on the beach where it belongs. As a Certified B Corp, Dock & Bay also makes sure all of its products are made by suppliers who are certified by the Global Recycled Standard.

5) Water Bottles

Staying hydrated is essential in summer. What isn’t essential, however, is the amount of single-use plastic bottles we use to do so. In the UK alone we generate around 5 million tonnes of plastic each year, which includes 15 million single-use plastic bottles per day.

Using a reusable water bottle isn’t anything new or groundbreaking, but it’s a sustainable habit we definitely need to get better at if we want to see that astonishing figure come down.

If you’re in the market for a new bottle, Ucon Acrobatics have a sleek stainless steel vacuum bottle that keeps your favourite drink cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Great for keeping cool in the summer and toasty in the winter.

Available at Filling Good in nude, dark grey, steel blue and rose, the bottles also boast an electropolished inner surface which resists bacterial growth. And, with a removable anti-slip silicon sleeve you will never lose grip even if your palms are sweaty from the summer heat.

6) Shampoo

Lounging by the pool is the ultimate picture of summer relaxation. Having hair matted and stinking of chlorine? Not so much.

Thankfully we stock a solution! Bath, Bubbles and Beyond’s Skin Or Swim solid shampoo bar is made with an infusion of rosemary, lavender and nettle which help eliminate the smell and damage caused by chlorine. Coconut oil moisturises, conditions and adds shine making it ideal after swimming or playing sports.

7) Bug Spray

While a key part of nature’s biodiversity, let’s face it, bugs can be annoying. Especially when they’re buzzing around your face as you’re trying to enjoy a summer picnic in the park.

But, don’t be tempted to reach for the chemical bug spray. These contain harmful pesticides that can severely damage the surrounding environment. Though you may intend to target a specific bug, the reality is that all insects that come into contact will be negatively impacted.

We’ve got a couple of more eco-friendly options for you that are better for the planet and for you.

Our Bug Off Citronella Candle from Husk is made with soy wax which is clean burning and free from chemicals and paraffin. The Bug Off candle works because it’s made with naturally bug-repelling fragrances to keep the bugs at bay.

Citronella, lemongrass, and notes of vanilla are blended together for a pleasant refreshing scent. Each candle has a burn time of 30+ hours making it a must-have for alfresco dining.

Once the candle is done, you can clean out any remaining wax and use the husk as a fabulous new bowl.

If you’re on the move, the Stop Bugging Me Oil is what you need. This essential oil blend of citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus, clove and thyme smells great to humans, but awful to pesky bugs which keep them away.

Since essential oils are incredibly concentrated, make sure to use them sparingly and check with your GP if you’re pregnant or have a medical condition.

To get your hands on our sustainable summer essentials (and more), make sure to visit our Maidenhead shop and help us on our mission to reduce plastic waste! 🌱

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