School is finally out and for many kids, this means summer camp is right around the corner. If you're like me, you want to send them off with the best supplies possible, with most, if not all of them being eco-friendly. So whether they’ll be going to day camp, sleep-away camp, or even if you are going away for a family camping vacation, these safe, eco-friendly camp items are must-haves.
Outdoor Research Rambler Sombrero ($24.99) - I love this hat from Mountain Equipment Co-op. It features a wide brim to fully protect the head from the sun. Its tight stitching gives it a UPF factor of 30+ and the brim contains foam which means that if it were to fall into the water, it will float so it can be easily recovered. It also contains a breakaway drawstring cord and a moisture wicking inner headband.
Badger Organic Tangerine & Vanilla Sunscreen ($19.99) – Kids love it because of the great scent, parents love it because it is natural (it only contains six simple ingredients!). Once applied, protection is immediate because it is a physical block and not a chemical block like most mainstream sunscreens. If the tangerine and vanilla scent is not appealing to you, then check out these other organic and natural sunscreens (and don't forget sun protection for the lips!)
UV Blocking Sunglasses ($8 - $22) – Even if your child has a hat that provides excellent sun protection, sunglasses are still a must. Mountain Equipment Co-op carries a full line-up of UV blocking sunglasses for kids of all ages.
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LunchBot Stainless Steel Food Containers ($17.99 - $21.99) - LunchBot stainless steel, plastic-free containers are reusable, so they will last for many years to come. My eldest has been using hers for about four years now and it’s still in great condition. LunchBots come in many different configurations and colours and when summer camp has ended, they carry over as the perfect school lunch container.
Otter Stainless Steel Water Bottles ($14.99 - $18.99) - Otter bottles are a favourite of mine because they are so simple. They come in several different prints the kids will love, and bonus, they come in adult designs and sizes too!
Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack Bags ($12.99) - These reusable snack bags are the perfect size (7" x 7") for a sandwich or snacks. Cleaning is simple—turn them inside out and wipe clean. You'll also have peace of mind having your kids use them because they are BPA, PVC, phthalate, and lead free.
DEET-Free Outdoor protection ($11.99 - $19.99) - Most mainstream bug repellants contain the chemical DEET which is considered an "unclassified carcinogen" by the World Health Organization and can be absorbed into the skin. It is also a chemical plasticizer ingredient used in rubber, plastic cement, and paint remover. Not something you really want to put on your family’s skin, right? Check out these natural and DEET-free outdoor protection products.
Ecojot Journals and Note Cards ($10 - $13) - Ecojot products are another favourite of mine for two reasons: their fun designs and of course, because they are eco-friendly. Picking up some Ecojot journals is a great idea because your kids will be able to record all of their summertime adventures. If your kids are going to sleep-away camp, send them off with some note cards and stamps so they can send you sweet notes updating you on all the daily camp happenings.