It may be August, but it’s still hot out there—and still summer! If you’re heading to the lake, camping, or a backyard pool and BBQ party, you need to have the right gear. Try to find long-lasting or recyclable products and avoid plastic. We tried a fun selection of products that may help you have a great time, and keep the Earth smiling.
biodegradable, recyclable, reusable cooler
He said: Could you imagine trying to pitch these products to a boardroom? I want to make an ice chest cooler… but I want to make it out of paper! They probably laughed their heads off. Surprisingly though, this cooler was rather rugged. It held its water and didn’t leak for days. It lacked enough insulation though, ice melted fast, and drinks didn’t stay cold long.
She said: Move over styrofoam, there’s a new contender in town! It may not be pretty, but this little unassuming cooler is more sturdy than styrofoam, and definitely Earth-friendly. But, it didn’t keep cans cold for as long (but still good for an outing) and the lid could have had a better seal. I’d still choose it over styrofoam.
mango guava 50 SPF spray sunscreen
He said: I guess I never truly appreciated the smell of plain ol’ sunscreen until I tried this guava mango sunscreen. Do I really need to smell like a tropical fruit salad to avoid a sunburn?! It was easy to apply and offered decent SPF protection, but doesn’t last very long on a hot, sweaty day. I think I’d rather use this as an air freshener.
She said: Organic sunscreen? Yep, this product exists! The spray was easy to apply, kept me burn-free for at least two hours, and smelled great. I hardly noticed it, so definitely no stickiness or white smears. I suppose if you had the money to spend, this would be worth it. But at $24.99, it seems unreasonable for most.
flywaze soft silicone disk
He said: I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to do a frantic search for a frisbee while halfway out the door to the park or beach. I know, First World problems. But this little Waboba solves it. It was flexible and compact enough to keep in a backpack or purse, yet it could still be thrown a good distance.
She said: What a super fun toy! I can finally attempt to catch a flying disk without jamming a finger. It can also fly into a picture hanging on the wall without breaking it (ahem, true story). Easy to catch, throw, and tuck in your back pocket for a quick game anywhere you go.
compostable divided paper plates
He said: What’s the best part of eating your food off a paper plate? Washing dishes after is a snap! These paper plate products were sturdy enough to stand up to a sawing steak knife and lasted quite a while with liquid. I felt the portion dividers were a bit small for a growing boy like me, but you can’t beat tossing them in the compost when you’re done.
She said: Sometimes you just need to use a disposable plate, and that’s okay! Stick to recycled or sustainable materials, like these from Target. They are made from sugarcane, and are compostable. I was happily surprised at their sturdiness and how they held up to liquids, but didn’t hold enough food for my appetite.
4-in-1 insulated tumbler
He said: Somebody got smart with this product. They took an insulated cup, which is great at keeping your beverages cold, and outfitted it with a silicone ring that makes it capable of securely holding different shaped bottles and cans, and just clap your hands, and just clap your haaands. (Sorry, I got lost in Beck song lyrics…) Awesome simple product. I will use it often.. now where did I put my two turntables and my microphone?
She said: It’s such a bummer to waste the last bit of bubbly water because it got too warm. Well, here’s a product you never knew you needed! Use it as a tumbler, or with tall cans, regular cans, and bottles. It kept my kombucha bottle cold in the car for a few hours, and my bubbly water at home for five hours! Yeah, I’m a mom, and it takes me five hours to finish any beverage (off to reheat my coffee again)…