Patagonia’s Paddler Board Shorts ($65) for men are made of nylon, but the liners are constructed from 100% recycled polyester that’s meant to reduce chafe during longer paddles. Once the shorts—which come in muted red ("fusion sunset") or blue ("mineral springs") designs or straight black—have been worn through, they’re completely recyclable through Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program, which allows consumers to send their old clothes back to Patagonia production centers, where they"ll be transformed into new garments. —Emma Mueller
What happens when a piece of pottery, long lost at sea, washes up on the shores of Scotland? If you’re the selle Northern Sea Glass on Etsy, you create distinctive jewelry. The Alaskan-based seller’s "surf-tumbled" pottery pendants ($2-$4.50) bear blue-and-white floral patterns, and each piece is drilled for wearing as necklace—a perfect complement to a long summer dress. —E.S.
CONTACT: Northern Sea Glass.
Sprig Toys" Dunebug’s Sand Truck ($14.99), available from various retailers via sites like www.thefind.com, is made from a bio-composite material that’s derived from recycled wood and reclaimed plastic.The nearly indestructible, water-resistant red and yellow truck can be separated to reveal a built-in bucket, shovel, rake, winged character ("Dunebug") and wildflower seeds for hours of sand, dirt and water exploration.
You can also pack the Green Toys Sand Play Set ($19.99) on your next beach outing.Made in the U.S. from recycled milk jugs—and minus harmful chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA), lead or phthalates—the set includes a bucket, shovel, rake and sand castle mold. —Erin Schneider
IF THE SHOE FITS
It’s a challenge to find footwear that’s not only manufactured in an environmentally sound manner but also fits and wears well. My dogs sport some sizeable bunions, so my shoes are generally comfortable and hideous, or attractive but leave me limping. I gave a trial walk to two styles from Ahnu Footwear: the Dolores ($85), with the look of a ballet flat but a more supportive sole and crisscrossing elastic straps, and the Benecia ll ($90), a sturdy, sporty Mary Jane with a stylish suede upper, grippy sole, reinforced rubber toe and easily adjustable closure strap. Ahnu boasts what it calls a "Neutral Positioning System," a multilayered memory foam insole to keep the heel centered. The shoes go easily from beach to trail to pavement to a night out, both aesthetically and comfort-wise. After three months of daily wear, they’re holding up beautifully. And my dogs don’t bark, or even whimper, while wearing them. —Jessica Rae Patton
CONTACT: Ahnu Footwear.
PRETTIER THAN PLASTIC
Forget plastic baggies for your upcoming picnics or lunches. Snack-A-Long reusable cotton and nylon snack bags ($6-$9) from Etsy retailer Moja Creations are the perfect size for snacks or sandwiches.And unlike plastic throwaways, they come in an array of bright designs, from traffic signs and princesses to paisleys and florals. What’s more, Snack-A-Longs are water-resistant, BPA- and lead-free and machine washable.
CONTACT: Moja Creations.
Take a break from the summer heat in an Earth Friendly Rope Hammock ($100-$130). Made from stretchable rope composed of 100% recycled plastic material—mostly bottles—and a wooden spreader bar made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, this "green" hammock is as soft as cotton and as durable as polyester, without the eco-footprint of either. —E.S.