Summertime means getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature, and one of the best ways of doing this is the tried and true favorite: picnics. They are the perfect afternoon excursion and a great activity for families and friends! However, sometimes we can opt for the easier route when planning our picnic baskets: pre-packaged sandwiches, disposable utensils, and plastic cups. As part of our #SustainableSummer, we challenge you to find ways to get outside in an eco-friendly way.
Below are some tips on crafting the perfect sustainable picnic:
Disposable plastic utensils wreak havoc on the environment. Reusable cutlery is a great alternative. Here are some of our favorites:
Reusable water bottles are essential for staying hydrating and reducing plastic waste. If you’re with a large group, it may to be easier to pack a large bottle with collapsible cups, or collapsible bottles. Some options:
Single-use paper napkins have a huge environmental impact. If 50% of the U.S. population uses 1 paper napkin for three meals a day, it is estimated that approximately 1.458 trillion napkins are used every year in the U.S. alone. Cloth napkins are a great alternative. They can be used to wrap fruit and nuts, and can last for years!
SolarPuff and Helix
These solar lights are super convenient for any outdoor trip. Just carry them on the outside of your bag so they charge as you walk, then twist or pull them up when you sit down to eat! They weigh only 2.6oz, and fold down small for easy storage wherever you go.
Making your meal at home
Homemade food is often times more cost effective, and you control the packaging. Skip the individually wrapped portions--- go family style! Use containers that stack into each other; this leads to easier clean-up and less to carry. We like Stacking Containers and Collapsible Containers.
If you're making sandwiches, ditch conventional plastic sandwich bags and opt for a reusable one instead, such as:
And if do you plan on packing pre-made snacks, look for items with recyclable packaging.
And most importantly, clean up after your meal!
Your reusable containers can be used to store trash, dirty utensils and napkins after your picnic. Better yet, use different containers to start sorting compost and recycling as you go!