Unbeknownst to most, common materials used in swimsuits, pool toys, and sun care products are actually detrimental to our health. Luckily, there are many eco-friendly pool alternatives that go a long way towards keeping you, and the environment, healthy. Listed below are materials that are unsustainable and can negatively impact our health. We’ve also put together some great and affordable alternatives for common pool accessories that are certified eco-friendly:

Common Unsustainable Materials

Phthalates: They are found in pool toys, floaties, and life vests. Studies show high levels of exposure to phthalates increases the incidences of asthma attacks and allergies in children. Research also shows that excessive exposure to phthalates disrupts endocrine production, which can lead to breast cancer in women.

Nylon: This type of fabric is very common in swimwear, it is not biodegradable nor is it eco-friendly.

Benzophenone:  This is commonly used in sunscreen. Research shows high levels of exposure to  benzophenone can lead to breast cancer.

Oxybenzone: Most sunscreen products contain Oxybenzone because it absorbs ultraviolet light. However, Oxybensone can lead to hormone disruption or potentially cause cell damage, which can lead to skin cancer.


Bathing Suits: As the “green” economy grows, it’s becoming easier to find alternatives made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or recycled materials. Check out Koru, a great environmentally friendly company that sells swimsuits made with materials from recycled fish nets. The brand also uses only bulk dyed fabric processed without water waste or pollution, ensuring the oceans are protected during the manufacturing process.

Image via Koru


Pool Toys:  Swap out toys made with phthalates for those made of recycled or biodegradable materials. Check these fun pool toys from MightyNest that are safe, healthy and non-toxic!

Pool Noodles: Polyethylene foam is typically what makes up noodle style toys, it is ozone-friendly, recyclable and odorless. Polythylene is often the go-to material when it comes to packaging and insulation because it is more lightweight in comparison to most materials and doesn’t require exterior covering. You can find a list of great polyethylene foam toys here!

Swim diapers: Cloth swim diapers for your baby are eco-friendly and cheap! The Honest Company‘s offers a selection of Velcro, buttons or pull ups for your little one. Swim diapers are quick-dry, reusable and stretchy! The waterproof material does not contain phthalates.

Organic Cotton Beach Towel:  Organic cotton and bamboo are a great cozy alternative! Silk & Cotton’s organic cotton beach towel is eco-friendly, fast drying and actually lighter than regular towels.

Image via Amazon

Sunscreen: There are several eco-friendly sunscreens  that do not contain benzophenone or oxybenzone. Choosing an eco-friendly sunscreen is easy, just peruse through Environmental Working Group’s Safe Sunscreen Guide! Sunscreen brands are rated from 1 to 10 based on their level of eco-friendly ingredients and their level of UV protection. Check out Kiss My Face‘s sunscreen, it has a “1” rating from EWG and contains zero phthalates or artificial materials.

Image via Kiss My Face


Got any favorite eco-friendly products for the pool? Let us know in the comments!