Breaking Down Summer

It’s almost officially summertime, and that means a return of trips to the local pool, vacation time for you and the kids, and plenty of time soaking up the sun!
But have you ever wondered about what’s actually in some of your seasonal staples? Are inflatable kiddie pools recyclable? What ingredients make up your favorite brand of sunscreen? Carolina Fibre has taken a few of these questions and put together some answers for you so that you can shop wisely this summer.
Shield yourself from the sun
Sunscreen isn’t just for fair skin; particularly during the summer months! While you’re out and about in the sunshine, it’s important to stay covered with a reliable product that’s good for your skin and safe for the kids.
Chemical sunscreen brands do contain some potentially harmful ingredients, such as oxybenzone and oxtinoxate. Both of these, in significant quantities can become less predictable when it comes to reactions with sensitive or irritated skin. The good news, though, is that you can find plenty of safer options that contain gentler alternatives like zinc, which will still reflect harmful rays from the sun and protect your skin without the potential aftereffects.
Make a splash
Here in the southeastern part of the country, our summers tend to get fairly hot with a decent amount of humidity – a day at the pool is sometimes a must if you need to cool down! But whether you have a community pool or one set up in the privacy of your backyard, there’s a good chance you’ve also invested in some floats and other fun toys for you and the kids to enjoy while you splash around. Kiddie pools and inflatable accessories mostly consist of PVC, a type of vinyl that generally isn’t affected by contact with water.
While this isn’t a harmful substance for people, PVC is one of the most environmentally damaging plastics out there. You can do some digging and invest in some PVC-free pools, floats, toys, and even life jackets. These products often feature polyethylene foam cores and nylon coverings, which have a significantly reduced impact on the environment when discarded or recycled.
Sipping on your summertime favorites  
On a hot afternoon, a sip of your favorite cold beverage is all you need to begin cooling down. But if you’ve heard the latest buzz about standard drinking straws, you might think twice about what you have floating around in your cup.
Generic drinking straws have typically been made using a high percentage of either paper or polystyrene, a plastic that is naturally brittle and tends to crack and break under pressure. These qualities and the limitations of some smaller recycling centers make it more difficult to dispose of them in an environmentally responsible way, leaving them to be circulated into landfills and eventually even our oceans. Now, more companies are opting to use polypropylene, a biodegradable resin. This is a lot easier for recycling centers to process, meaning that the straws won’t keep cluttering up our oceans, but you can purchase some for you and the kids to use all summer long!
For more helpful and environmentally friendly tips, keep an eye out for Carolina Fibre’s blog updates and like our Facebook page!