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Are you ready to have a memorable summer? While I’m already filling my closet with fun new swimsuits, stocking my fridge with Summer Shandy beer, and preparing for the heat to arrive, I’m also getting ready by having a few items on hand for a more eco-friendly summer. Because not only do I want to have a blissful summer season, I also want to do what I can for this big beautiful planet!

10 Easy Swaps to Have a More Eco-Friendly Summer | The Wanderful Me

There’s nothing better than summertime, right? Soaking up the sun, chilling on the lake, sitting by a bonfire with a beer in hand, having backyard barbecues, and spending time with friends and family on a warm summer evening.

Summer is the ultimate season when it’s all just about having fun and spending time with those who you enjoy to be around. Worries and the stress of school, work, and responsibilities fade away with every weekend; nothing else matters other than having a good time.

Except… that’s just not true anymore. 

With every passing day, our planet is slowing becoming ridden with plastic, garbage, pollution, chemicals, and more. You might not know it, but you could be taking part in the destruction of our planet with the things you use everyday.

The items you use this summer could be doing more damage than you think. But there’s easy swaps for more eco-friendly products that’ll help minimize the impact you have on the environment!

Check out these earth friendly products you could swap for the things you use on the daily — so you can have a more eco-friendly summer!


1. Non-Chemical Sunscreen

If you’re still using chemical-ridden sunscreen, do you even care about the environment? Just kidding — but truly, non-chemical and natural sunscreen is the way to go these days!

Recent research and studies show a common chemical in spray-on and lotion sunscreens — oxybenzone — contributes to the coral bleaching, the killing of reefs, and overall destruction of ocean life.

“It causes weird deformities in soft tissue and also causes the coral larvae to encase itself in its own skeleton, in its own coffin,” said Craig Downs, one of the study authors. (, 2017)

While you definitely should protect your skin from harmful sun rays, be a more eco-conscious beach goer this summer by swapping out your normal sunscreen for chemical-free sunscreen or natural sunblock.

If you completely disregard any of these other tips, at least switch to a more environmentally friendly product — eco-friendly and natural sunscreen!

You can find my FAVORITE natural, chemical-free sunscreen brands in this post!

Interested in doing even more for the earth? Check out this post on sustainable travel to learn more.

2. Bamboo Toothbrush

Before I left on my backpacking adventure back in May, I swapped out my plastic toothbrush for a more eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush and, while it takes some getting used to, I’m so happy I made the change!

Not only do my teeth still feel just as clean as before, as well as a bit whiter (which is great for summer pics!), I feel as though I’m actually having a positive impact on the environment.

Have you ever thought about what happens to that plastic toothbrush you throw into the trash every 3 or — if you’re a normal person — 6 months?

Before I started being more environmentally conscious, I didn’t give one thought to where my plastic toothbrush went once I was through with it.

But here’s something to think about: 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the U.S.

That’s enough toothbrushes to stretch around the world 4 times. And 50 million toothbrushes are added to landfills every year in the U.S., but that’s not even the worst part.

Most plastic toothbrushes are made out of polypropylene plastic and nylon, both are which non-renewable fossil fuels. So, with a plastic toothbrushes, not only are we filling landfills but using up fossil fuels faster than necessary.

But, don’t look so sad, there is hope! Or, at least, there’s bamboo toothbrushes. An simple eco-friendly swap you can make to lessen your toothbrush impact.

Stronger and harder than wood, bamboo toothbrushes are reliable and mostly recyclable (or, if you have the option, easily compostable!).

Click here to find the perfect one for you — many sellers on Etsy ship their bamboo toothbrushes in eco-friendly packaging, too! Win.

3. Natural Toothpaste

Going along with the notion that regular toothbrushes are harmful to the environment, can the same be said about regular toothpaste?

Short answer: yes.

Normal toothpaste has a negative and detrimental effect on the environment — specifically, our water sources.

Have you ever thought about what chemicals are in toothpaste that make it so effective at cleaning the nastiness off our teeth? And if these chemicals are so good at their job, what they’re doing to the earth once we spit ’em down the drain? 

We spend over 3,000 hours brushing our teeth in our lifetime. With that amount of hours spent using toothpaste, wouldn’t you rather use one that’s natural and doesn’t harm the environment?

After swapping out my plastic toothbrush for my more earth friendly bamboo toothbrush, I also made the switch to a more natural toothpaste. Going from a super popular brand to one like this, which cleans my teeth just as good!

And my breath is — naturally — minty fresh, so I’m ready for alllll those summer smooches. (hint hint, Dan — aka the wanderful boyfriendo) 😉

Click here to find a great all-natural toothpaste for yourself.

My cute little natural toothpaste jar!

4. Reusable Travel Mug

Anyone else need caffeine to function?! I know I do!

This means I take frequent trips to coffee shops like Caribou Coffee and Starbucks, happily sipping on my oat milk lattes.

Unfortunately, this also means I partake in using up all those pesky plastic to-go coffee cups…

That is until I started opting to bring in my own cute travel mug!

Just in UK, 7 million disposable coffee cups are used every day – that’s 2.5 billion every year.

Clearly, the world has a problem with plastic! Thus, an easy solution would be to either sit in a coffee shop and drink your drink there or swap your take away cup for your own personal reusable one.

While I always try to sit in a cafe and have my coffee, I don’t always have time. Thus, I love carrying my travel mug with me everywhere! So I’m always ready for my caffeine fix. 😉

Pro tip: a reusable travel mug is also a fantastic cup to put alcoholic drinks in. So when you need to mix a summer drink and take it on the go, boom! You’re good to go.

Click here to find the best reusable coffee mug for you.

Sit Down for Coffee • 10 Easy Swaps to Have a More Eco-Friendly Summer

Curious to know what my favorite zero waste packing essentials are? Check out this post!

5. At your next barbecue, opt for vegan hot dogs or burgers.

Rather than telling you to fully go vegan, I’m challenging you to make a little swap.

At your next barbecue, instead of going for the regular, meaty hot dogs, try out the vegan hot dogs. Seriously, I bet you won’t even tell the difference! I’ve had tons of friends who’ve tried the vegan hot dogs and some say they taste even better.

Additionally, not only are they healthier but also way better for the environment, as animal agriculture is a huge contributor to climate change. They also look exactly like the real thing!

So, at your next barbecue, opt for a more eco-friendly product: vegan hot dogs instead of regular hot dogs. You can usually find vegan hot dogs at any major food store like Walmart or Target!

Yummy vegan burger with a side of tasty potato wedges!

6. Eco-Friendly & Cruelty-Free Shampoo

Let me ask you something… do you know what’s in your shampoo? And do you know HOW they test the ingredients? Or WHAT they test on?

If you can actually name everything on the ingredients list, tell me where it comes from, AND tell me it’s not harmful, that’s awesome!

If you can’t confidently tell me what the ingredients or if they’re safe for both you and the planet, should you really be using it?

I don’t know about you, but I’m scared to learn what I’ve been using on my sensitive head for the past two decades! Not to mention, the amount of animals that were tested on unnecessarily.

When I finally made the switch to eco-friendly shampoo, it was easy to also choose a cruelty-free one — which is now one of my main factors when choosing any sort of beauty product.

I recommend getting yourself a shampoo bar. Eco-friendly, zero waste, and typically cruelty-free! Click here to find one on Etsy.

My zero waste, vegan, and cruelty-free shampoo bar from Lush!

7. Filtering Water Bottle

Not only should you swap out plastic water bottles for a reusable water bottle, why not go for the filtering one?

When I was backpacking places like Thailand and Sri Lanka, no matter where you went, you couldn’t drink the tap water due to harmful elements.

If I didn’t have my GRAYL filtering water bottle with me, I would have went through countless plastic water bottles, which just unnecessarily clog up our beautiful oceans, beaches, and green spaces.

Though, if you don’t have to worry about the water, like if you’re in the US (unless your in Flint, Michigan), consider getting a reusable water bottle for all your water needs — or mixed drink needs if you’re like me!

Although, grabbing yourself a reusable water bottle doesn’t just have the benefit of NOT contributing to the world’s detrimental plastic problem… you’ll also save money! So, not only will it be a more eco-friendly summer, but a budget-friendly one as well. Woo-hoo!

Grab yourself the GRAYL filtering water bottle here OR a beautiful stainless steel one here.

Filling up my GRAYL to filter some fresh water while hiking!

Curious to know what my favorite zero waste packing essentials are? Check out this post!

8. Pass on the Plastic Straw

Not only am I challenging you to swap out your regular hotdogs or burgers for vegan options, I’m also challenging you to say no to every single plastic straw you come across!

Not only are we filling the oceans with plastic water bottles, we’re also contributing to the global plastic problem by continuing to use plastic straws.

Although, if you’re like me and you have a problem drinking out of a glass like a normal person (I seriously spill everywhere!), opt for reusable straws instead!

Both an eco-friendly product and a practical product.

I absolutely love my reusable metal straws — so useful for drinking out of tall glasses, sipping on a smoothie, or gulping down a refreshing gin and tonic.

They’re also super small and light, so it’s easy to pack along on any trip!

9. Make the Switch to Reusable Grocery Bags

Those people at the grocery stores you see carrying around enormous, reusable totes/bags? You wanna be like them!

It’s time to join the crowd and switch over to reusable bags.

Not only are they reusable and way more sustainable than plastic, they’re usually really strong and will carry twice as much as regular plastic bags. So not only are they an eco-friendly product, they’re practical!

Buy a few and keep them in your car, so you never forget to bring them with wherever you’re going — whether it’s to the grocery store or to a barbecue (where you’ll be bringing some vegan hotdogs 😉).

Another bonus: companies like Trader Joe’s applaud those who are more eco-friendly, entering you in a raffle to win $25 every time you bring in your reusable bags! Whoop whoop.

Get yourself some reusable grocery bags here.

10. Zero Waste Picnic Baskets

Who doesn’t love a good picnic? Sitting on the beach or in a relaxing park, opening up a bottle of wine, munching on a fresh salad, and topping it off with a sweet treat.

Sounds fantastic, right?

But what if that picnic basket is filled with disposable food containers, loads of take-away boxes, aluminum foil, and plastic wrapped food on paper plates?

Not very eco-friendly, wouldn’t you agree?

That’s why this summer I’m making the switch to waste-free picnic baskets.

Instead of packing my food in disposable containers like plastic bags, I’ll be using reusable containers, ditching the paper plates, and saying “so long!” to plastic cutlery.

Not only is it more satisfying to eat on an actual real plate with cutlery that won’t break if you slightly bend it, I’ll be saving the landfill from more garbage!

Here are a few eco-swaps you can make for a zero waste picnic:

Take away vegan breakfast sandwich!

With these easy swaps, you’ll be having a more eco-friendly summer in no time! Helping save this big beautiful earth, while having a memorable summer and enjoying life.

Do you have any other tips on how to be more eco-friendly? Or anything I should add? Let me know in the comments!

Sophie xx

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Sustainable summer tips - the sun and summertime is here! While I'm already filling my closet with fun new swimsuits, I'm also getting ready by having a few environmentally-friendly items on hand. Here are my 10 simple swaps to have a more eco-friendly summer! #sustainability #ecofriendly #environmentallyfriendly #greentravel #travel #sustainable #summer #tips
Ready to bring on summer with a more sustainable lifestyle? Here are 10 crazy simple eco-friendly swaps for summer to be greener!

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