Column: Eco-Friendly Companies to consider this Earth Day


Natural Bridges State Beach remains a popular beach on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. The beach, located in northern Santa Cruz, is well populated year-round. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Rachael Thomas

Earth Day has its own recognized and celebrated day once a year, but Earth Day should be celebrated every single day. Since there is only one earth to live on, people need to do their part to take care of it.

Listed below are some eco-friendly and sustainable companies to consider this Earth Day and year round.

4Ocean – “One Pound Promise”

When walking on the beach, sometimes trash can be seen washed ashore. Now think about how much is still actually in the ocean and how it can affect the marine life. 4Ocean is a company that is constantly thinking about the issue and how they can make a change with their “One Pound Promise” to pull one pound of trash from the ocean, rivers and coastlines per product purchased. The goal is to start a movement to end the world’s reliance on single-use plastic.

Since 2017, this company has recovered 14,323,996 pounds of trash from coastlines and oceans. 4Ocean hires professional full-time crews to recover trash seven days a week. Every pound that is pulled is tracked through an entire supply chain and all documentation is verified by the Better Business Bureau.

Image courtesy of Ocean4
Image courtesy of 4Ocean

Sand Cloud – Recycled and Reusable

Starting in San Diego with just a sand-resistant beach towel, Sand Cloud has blossomed into a company that is more than just that. Today this company also introduces eco-friendly accessories, reusable glass water bottles, reusable metal straws and clothes made from recycled materials.

With every purchase, 10% of the sale goes towards marine conservation to #SaveTheFishies.

Some of the charities that Sand Cloud works with are the Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, San Diego Coastkeeper, Hawaii Wildlife Fund and Ocean Connectors.

Sun Bum – Reef-Friendly Sunscreen

To continue the trend of saving the fish, the reef also needs to be saved. Playing a part in that is Sun Bum Reef-Friendly sunscreen. Due to global climate change, the rising ocean temperatures and the stress of the warmer waters causes the corals to become bleached in the ocean reefs. Two main chemicals in sunscreen to be on the look out for and avoid are Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, both of which are harmful to the reefs. Sun Bum is taking a stand as a company to protect the reefs and sea creatures from further damage.

There is still a lot of discussion and debate between what is “Reef-Friendly” and “Reef-Safe.” The FDA is currently working on regulating this and a testing protocol. Hawaii has recently banned the sale of sunscreens containing Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, as of January 1, 2021.

Image of Biodegradable Phone Case courtesy of
Image of Biodegradable Phone Case courtesy of Pela Cases

Pela Cases – Biodegradable Phone Cases

Another company taking a step in the right direction of using environmentally sensible materials is Pela Case. Founder Jeremy Lang has tested the cases to be free of BPA, lead, cadmium and phthalates. All the cases are made from renewable resources. This leads them to reduce dependence on fossil resources and greenhouse gas emissions, while also being biodegradable.

Phone cases are not the only item available; Pela also sells AirPods cases, smartwatch bands, phone grips and zero waste screen protectors. Popping on over to Pela Vision, there are also 100% biodegradable sunglasses.