4 ways to give the planet a summer break

Enjoying the outdoors shouldn’t imperil the Earth. Give Mother Nature a vacation with easy-on-the-environment ideas.

Made into shades: It’s estimated that discarded fishing gear accounts for more than half the total weight of plastics floating in the ocean. Search online for “recycled sunglasses” and you’ll find several options made from recovered ocean debris, including “ghost” fishing nets that were lost or abandoned.

Block out toxins: Protect your skin and marine life at the same time. Avoid sunscreen ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. When they end up in water, they can harm corals and other ocean dwellers. More ideas: Seek shade—and find additional guidance at oceanservice.noaa.gov/sunscreen.

Dishware from plants: Whether it’s an afternoon in the park or a patio party, avoid single-use items, which account for half of all plastic produced. If you do opt for disposable products, consider those made from palm leaves or fast-growing bamboo, and reuse them a few times when possible. A keyword search for “plant-based dishware” yields options for most needs and budgets.

Read This Next

Sexually transmitted infections seem to be on the rise
This 1882 surveying error saved a patch of forest from logging
The Maldives is being swallowed by the sea. Can it adapt?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet