Browsing Tag:

PVC Free Pools

  • InShopping Guides, Toxic Plastic, Toys & Misc

    How to Choose PVC-free Pools, Floaties, Toys and Life Jackets

    We never dreamed how difficult it would be to find PVC-free baby/kid pools, floaties, life jackets and toys.  After 5 years of searching, you'd think we would have quite a long list of options – but that's not the case.  Summer's here, so have a look ahead at our newly updated list along with tips for avoiding pool toys that are generally made from PVC.

    Products Typically Made with PVC

    Inflatable Pools, Floaties and Toys

    We found that almost all inflatable toys are made from PVC (usually listed as Vinyl).  In fact, we didn't find a single one made from an alternative material, as there still doesn't seem to be a suitable substitute after five years of searching.

    We realize that it's almost impossible to avoid them, so if you can't find an alternative product to meet your needs, we suggest you consider buying them used.  This gives them a chance to off-gas before using it with your children, and also helps reduce the use of PVC (which is regarded as the single most environmentally damaging of all plastics).

    Keep in mind that buying used doesn't help with phthalates, lead and other toxins common to PVC. We don't have the man (or woman!) power to research every single inflatable pool toy to find out which are phthalate-free, so you may want to contact the manufacturer before buying used items. Please note that this category includes the spring style floats as seen here, here, here and here.  We confirmed with several manufacturers that the inflatable ring inside the nylon casing is made of PVC.

    Dense Foam Life Vests and Mats

    Most dense foam kickboards, life vests, and mats are made from closed-cell PVC foam and are covered in a layer of waterproof vinyl.  Even the floaties made from non-PVC foam were mostly covered with a layer of PVC on the outside. You can identify them by their slightly rubbery exterior that's sometimes shiny.  You can see an example of a PVC life vest here.

    Life Vests with Neoprene or Nylon Covering

    We were surprised to learn that most of our good old standby life vests were made with a PVC foam core.  Their neoprene and nylon covering hides the interior, so be sure to contact the manufacturer to confirm what type of foam is used for buoyancy.

    PVC-free Foam Core Life Jackets

    UPDATE: We're so happy to report that we've been able to locate a handful of completely PVC-free life vests since we first researched this subject. These life jackets are made primarily with Gaia foam, NBR (nitrile butadiene rubber) foam or polyethylene foam.

    Mustang Survival
    MTI Adventurewear
    NRS Ninja
    Astral GreenJacket
    LandShark Dog Life Jacket
    Canine Friendly Dog Life Jacket


    PVC-free Pools, Floaties, Noodles and Mats

    Polyethylene and EVA Foam Floaties, Noodles and Mats

    Noodle style pool toys are usually made from polyethylene foam, which is PVC-free.  This material is often used in packaging and as insulation as well.  It can be identified by its more lightweight feel and porous appearance as compared to the dense, heavy PVC foam.  Also, it typically doesn't have an exterior covering like PVC foam does. We found these floaties, mats, and toys made from non-toxic EVA or polyethylene foam.



    Hard-sided Polyethylene Kid Pools

    Thank goodness there are still old-fashioned molded pool made with PVC-free polyethylene around!  They are getting harder to find, but we've seen them at Lowes here and here, at Academy Sports here.  There's a great hard-sided pool made by Little Tikes, the Butterfly Beach Sandbox and Wading Pool here, and also the Step2 Play & Shade Pool pictured below.

    Be sure to look for recycling codes #2, #4 and #5 because some hard-sided pools like this one are made with PVC.

    What PVC-free pool toys have you found in your own research?

    *NOTE: Edited to remove the H2OGO! My First Frame Pool after receiving conflicting info on ingredients (sounds like there may be PVC in the lining after all too!).


    Finding non-toxic pool toys

  • InShopping Guides

    10 Favorites for Camping Fun without the Chemical Load

    With the summer weather hot on our backs, we've been outside playing, camping, hydrating and looking for cool retreats from the heat. Along the way, we found lots of great things that have made our summer super fun and thought we'd share our top picks with you.


    Freezycups Stainless Steel Ice Pop Molds

    Freezycups are one of our favorite ways to find relief from the summer heat. They’re completely plastic-free, made of 100% stainless steel with bamboo sticks and silicone gaskets included. Make your own frozen treats, and escape to a cool paradise. Read our full product review here.


    GreenPaxx Cool Caps and Straws

    An essential addition to our summertime arsenal, GreenPaxx Cool Caps and Cool Straws are made of 100% silicone, making them nearly indestructible and super kid friendly. Regular cups are converted into to-go cups with our Cool Caps and Straws, and we use them in place of disposables to reduce waste.

    Bug Stopper Spray

    Our must-have insect repellant on camping trips and lengthy outings. It’s all-natural, made of essential oils that bugs hate and the smell is actually pleasant. For us insect magnets this is an incredible natural spray that’s works. A miracle in a bottle!


    Sun Smarties Pop-Up Pool

    This kiddie pool is completely PVC-free! It’s foldable and portable, made of puncture-resistant polyester with an adjustable canopy. Take it anywhere, pop it up, and you’ve got a water heaven.


    Sand Castle Forms

    Perfect for the beach and even the sandbox at home. The forms are made of safe and durable HDPE plastic, and they can also be used in the snow!


    Tuga Sunwear

    We love the sun and we love to soak up as much as we safely can, but there are times we need additional protection. Tuga Sunwear is both cute and functional, and their UPF 50+ line of swimsuits is chemical-free! The UPF is achieved by way of the knitting and dying processes during manufacturing, not by a dousing of toxic chemicals.

    Light ‘n Go Bonfire Log

    A kiln dried natural birch stump that lights with one match. We need a fire burning frequently when we’re out camping, so a fast and easy non-chemical way to get it started is always welcome. They even come with carrying handles for easy toting!

    Zoe b Organic Biodegradable Beach Toys 

    Durable and biodegradable toys for tons of eco-friendly summer fun. The 5-piece set has everything you need for a trip to the beach, and you can rest easy knowing they're made of bioplastic that degrades in 2-3 years (not 500 years like regular plastic).

    ThinkSport LIVESTRONG Sunscreen SPF 50+ 

    We're always on the lookout for non-toxic sun care products, and ThinkSport sunscreen fits the bill. It's ingredients are safe for adults and children alike, and it falls into the highest category for water resistance. So go out and enjoy the sun with a sunscreen that safely protects you.


    Play cards anywhere there’s water, or play on dry ground too! There are different games to play that are perfect for children of all ages. Made of formamide-free EVA foam, they're safe for little hands to handle.


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