On the Go

Protect Your Skin & the Earth


It is definitely beginning to feel like summer. Wil is getting out of his school in North Carolina this week and Joseph finished two weeks ago. We just joined a community pool to get us through these hot months before we move back to Houston in August!


After a whole school year of routine, it can be a little bit of a challenge to reorganize ourselves for the summer months. There are summer camps, outdoor activities, and BBQ nights that are not part of our normal everyday lives otherwise. All of these activities require sunscreen and bug spray!

There is already a lot to think about when it comes to sunscreen but it is worthwhile to consider what these products are doing to the environment.

An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen wash into the oceans each year and contribute to damaging the ocean’s reefs. If a sunscreen is free of oxybenzone and octinoxate and has mostly zinc-oxide or titanium dioxide as an active ingredient, it is considered “reef-safe”. Also, a lot of sunscreen comes in plastic bottles that get used and then quickly discarded but there are sunscreens on the market in more sustainable packaging. Most importantly, to ensure we are recommending only the most effective sunscreens, we have chosen to highlight only sunscreens that are on the EWG’s “2019 Guide to Sunscreens”. We have found and tested some very effective, “reef-safe” and sustainably packaged sunscreens for you and the kids from brands that align with our sustainability qualifications.


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SPF 50 Sunscreen Butter

EWG approved quality, B-Corp certified, and reef-safe sunscreen in sustainable container. The size makes it very easy to always have in your bag for you or the kids.


SPF 30 Sheer Sunscreen

If you have kids similar to mine then spraying them down is way easier than trying to manually apply cream. This sunscreen is EWG certified, reef safe and in an aluminum bottle that can be recycled once completely emptied.


Tinted Sunscren

This has great, beautiful coverage for my skin tone. Perfect for tennis & outdoor exercise or trips to the park & zoo. The same EWG certification as their regular sunscreen.


Anti-Bug Spray

This bug spray has been around for years for a reason. It is safe, effective and encased in an aluminum can that can be recycled.

Avoiding Single-Use-Plastic Cups for the Kids


Most of us are pretty good about not using single-use plastic cups at home. We have our own drinking glasses and the kids have their favorite kids cups, so it’s no problem.

However, dining out at restaurants is when single-use drinking cups can be a challenge, especially with kids. Have you ever sat down at a kid-friendly restaurant and before everyone is even settled the waiter arrives with waters for all the kids in plastic cups? They are just trying to provide good service, but I haven’t even had a chance to tell them that we don’t use single-use plastic cups, or that we brought our own water or really anything at all, its an example of the culture we live in I am hoping to impact and change. I hate to complain because they are trying to make our lives easier, but it is wasteful, especially if you weren’t even going to need them.


When going out to restaurants, we either bring our own cups for milk and water, or we request that they bring milk in whatever glass they would for adults, and use these awesome Silikids silicone covers and metal straws. Doing this for at least one of the beverages (milk or water) saves so much room in your bag and works even better than a plastic cup and lid because the silicone stretched over the glass isn’t ever going to fall off, ask me how I know (Jojo). Has anyone else had the top fall off of their kids’ cup and the drink ends up all over the child, or all over THE PARENT!?

The Silikids covers are also very inexpensive. You can put any straw in them, but we got these metal ones that can also be used for cocktails when out and about so you are prepared for anything.


silikids cup.jpg

Silikids Cup Covers


Short Stainless Steel Straws


Klean Kanteen 8 Piece Straw Set

BYO On the Go

Photo: OneGreenPlanet.org

Photo: OneGreenPlanet.org

Americans purchase over 50 billion single-use plastic water bottles every year. This averages to about 13 bottles per month for every person in the United States. Across the U.S. plastic bottles, including PET (#1), HDPE (#2) and PP (#5), are recycled at a rate of 29.7%. Recycling of plastics is competing with cheaper “virgin plastics”, which is affecting the value of recycled material worldwide (B.A.N.). “Paper” coffee cups are a problem for the environment as well. Most recycling facilities don’t recycle paper cups because to do so, they would have to separate the plastic lining from the paper and most facilities find that process to be more trouble than it is worth. This makes the cups effectively non-recyclable, so the cups end up in landfills or the environment. Some once beautiful beaches in Asia are inundated with plastic. Whales and marine life are dying from mistaking these single use plastics for food. This is a horrifying and unnecessary pollutant, a hazard to marine life and our own health, as well as a waste of our natural resources. Simple actions like refusing single-use plastics and planning ahead to bring your own cups and cutlery can make a huge difference. In this post I’ve lined up some of my favorite on-the-go items.

Water Bottles

Getting a water bottle for on-the-go drinking is an easy way to help prevent unnecessary waste. It is one of the easiest switches I have made and truly a better way to live life. The water stays cooler longer, the bottle is easier to drink from and there is no worrying about the plastic roasting in the sun and leaking BPA into the water. Did I also mention that they are way better looking with so many options to choose from depending on your drinking preferences? I prefer a flip top sport style for when I’m working out and then carry an insulated tumbler with a straw for the rest of the day. I currently use a Camelbak for my workouts. I have had it for four years and don’t plan on buying new unless necessary. I have heard great things about HydroFlasks so I included it below as a workout option. The Klean Kanteen insulated tumbler with straw is what I use for smoothies or any other on-the-go beverage so it’s nice to already always have with me as my water bottle. S’well water bottles are a perfect combination of form and function and great for throwing in your purse for the day.

Klean Kanteen
Klean Kanteen
CamelBak Products LLC

Coffee Cups

Another on-the-go switch is to-go coffee cups. This switch is even more important than water bottles in my opinion since to-go coffee cups are considered non recyclable items by most recycling facilities (except TerraCycle of course). Because the coffee cups are a mixed plastic it is considered too costly and time-inefficient to take them apart in a recycling facility. I have  tried a couple of reusable coffee cups that I have enjoyed drinking from so much more than the plastic carry out option from the coffee shop. Frank Green is my favorite. The cup fits nicely in my hand and the drinking spout feels very similar (yet better) to drinking out of a single-use coffee cup. The push button on top opens or closes the drinking spout from within so you can throw it in you bag and not worry about it spilling. It has been very reliable. KeepCup is another popular and eco-friendly option for coffee. I also love the versatility of Yeti and Klean Kanteen tumblers. There are really so many great options out there to choose from. What is most important is to find something that works for you daily life. For instance, if someone does a coffee run for your office in the morning, maybe have the office invest in several reusable cups for them to take to the coffee shop?

Hydro Flask
Klean Kanteen



carrying multiple bottles not your thing?

My husband doesn’t like to carry around a bag so it was a challenge for him to carry around a to-go coffee cup and water bottle. He decided to use one mug for both and just rinse out in between. The Yeti or Klean Kanteen tumblers are great for this since you can transition to a different top + straw if desired but keep the same base. It can take time to make any switch feel right for you and your daily routine, but its worth the effort to reduce these single-use plastics we have grown so reliant on.

check out these other zero waste on the go items

What’s your favorite single use replacement?