As outdoor enthusiasts, we are passionate not only about spending time in nature, but treading lightly on the world we live in. We want to take care of our beautiful places, not only for ourselves but for future generations.
Unfortunately, plastic pollution is taking over far too much of our planet. And plastic trash does much more than detract from the scenery, it endangers wildlife and evn threatens our own health as well.
Ideally, we want to first remember to reduce what we buy (like purchasing gear that will last for years and skipping single use plastics when possible) and reuse as much as possible (hello, hand-me-downs!). And of course, we want to recycle our plastic trash whenever possible.
But what becomes of our plastics when after we’ve tossed them into the recycling bin? Some of it ends up as gear that can help you enjoy the outdoors.
So today, in honor of Earth Day, we are showcasing some gear that will help you enjoy nature and keeps recyclable materials out of the landfill (and out of our rivers!)
Our favorite recycled products:
The Onya is one of my favorite carriers, especially as my babies moved passed baby phase and into toddlerhood. The NexStep even has a built in “high chair,” which has come in handy in a few occasions. (You can see our full Onya review here). The NexStep features a 100% recycled brushed polyester twill fabric that’s made from recycled water bottles. It also has an air mesh lining to help you and baby stay cool.
When my boys were smaller, they would hardly ever go to the playground without a dump truck (or several to share!) in hand. Green Toys is a favorite for their simple yet hardy designs that allow for open ended, outdoor play. The company uses plastic milk jugs (and the occasional yogurt cup) in their products and have kept nearly 75 million milk jugs out of landfills so far.
We’ve been using Re-Play plates for years and have loved them. They are are durable and after years of use and abuse, hardly show any wear. Like Green Toys, Re-Play products are made out of recycled milk jugs. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of single use plastic you go through while packing trail snacks, check out the Snack Stack. You can stack containers together, or even hook them on to your stroller with the travel lid handle.
Each Universal Towel from Title Nine is made using eight plastic water bottles. According to the website, this towel can absorb plenty of water, but also dries four times faster than a cotton towel.
Title Nine uses recycled polyester in plenty of their other products – check out this Hanalei Full-Zip Hoodie. It’s a nice lightweight for heading into spring and summer. The Tomboy Dress also uses recycled polyester, and looks great on lots of different body types.
Patagonia is a leader in environmentally friendly gear. For one, they take seriously the “re-use” part of reduce, re-use, and recycle. Patagonia sells “Worn Wear” – used Patagonia products at a discounted price. If you have Patagonia clothing that’s too worn out to be re-sold, you can also mail it back to the company to be recycled or repurposed.
Sunday Afternoons also has a line of recycled styles featuring 100% post-consumer material made from plastic bottles. Sunday Afternoons has made a name for itself for baby and kids hats that actually stay on heads. They have been some of our favorite headgear for years.
The infant Sunsprout Hat has a crushable brim (which makes it way easier to stash in a diaper bag) and a flat back that makes stroller rides more comfortable. For older kids, check out the Impulse Hat – a baseball cap made out of recycled polyester. The impulse hat is made out of lightweight material and dries fast, making it a good choice for sweaty summer heads. It comes in adult sizes too.
Birdwatching is one of my family’s favorite activities, and since my youngest just started saying “birdie,” we are spending a good chunk of time watching birds in our backyard. This Woodlink birdfeeder is made out of 90% post-consumer recycled plastic. The open design allows birds to fly in from all angles. Also, check out this adorable birdhouse. Woodlink’s products hold up well in all sorts of weather, and this should last you for years.
Team Member Jackie is a coffee-lover, writer and a mom of a five year old, three year old and a baby living in Helena, MT. She thought that hiking might help tame her children’s wild spirits, and co-leads a Hike it Baby branch. All that hiking only made her crew wilder, but in a good way. Before kids she enjoyed reading, knitting and baking, but now she enjoys making it to bedtime.
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