How to have an eco-friendly, low waste picnic with friends this summer
Planning a picnic with friends or family over the summer months? Check out our simple tips to have a more eco-friendly, low waste picnic and help protect the environment.
June 9, 2021
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With the summer months well and truly upon us, it is time to start planning some well deserved outdoor activities and picnics with friends and family. Whilst we are running to grab our picnic baskets and some tasty snacks, let's not forget to show respect for our surroundings. In this post we will take a look at some simple ways you can enjoy a more eco-friendly picnic outside this summer.
Invest in reusable items
Billions of single use utensils, food containers, plastic water bottles and napkins are thrown away each year. These plastic items can take hundreds of years to break down naturally and often end up in our world's oceans. These plastics can also be extreamely harmful to wildlife and the environment that surrounds them.
Next time you organise a picnic why not use reusable items and invest in containers and cutlery that you can use over and over again. This will not only save you money in the long term, but it will also help reduce the amount of waste that ends up being dumped into landfills and our oceans.
Take home-made food
Buying shop-made sandwiches and snacks might seem easier and much more convenient, but doing so has a profound effect on both the waste you produce and your wallet. These pre-made snacks create a lot of unnecessary paper and plastic waste and are usually more expensive too.
Before you decide to go on your next picnic adventure, why not plan ahead and make some fresh homemade treats before you leave the house. Bringing homemade food to a picnic will not only reduce the amount of plastic and paper waste you consume but it will save energy as it will not have to be recycled.
Source local ingredients
Many people are unaware of the impact sourcing food locally can have on the environment. With so many restaurants and supermarkets sourcing their produce from other countries, it is important that we take a look at our food miles and ensure we shop as locally as possible in order to reduce our carbon footprint.
Food that has travelled across the world to get to our tables has a greater, more negative impact on the world around us. This is why cooking food that has been locally sourced for your next outing is so important. Next time you plan a picnic with friends, why not stop by the local farmers market to pick up your favourite fruits and vegetables ahead of time.
Recycled picnic blankets
Everything down to the picnic blanket you're sitting on will have an impact on the environment. With textile waste polluting our atmosphere and deteriorating our environment, it's not just the clothes we wear we need to be worried about.
Quite a lot of picnic blankets are made from fleece or other harmful materials. Before you plan your next picnic in the park why not take a look at the items you might already have that can be used as a blanket. This will help you reduce textile waste in the long term and will give old textiles and bed linen a new purpose.
If you really need to buy a new blanket then be conscious of what materials it is made of and also how you plan to dispose of it or repurpose it in the distant future. Can the materials be recycled? Are they long-lasting? Being low waste isn’t just about the now, it requires thinking about the future too.
Leave no trace
We are extremely fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful green spaces and vibrant seasides, perfect for our picnics. Show your respect for these outdoor spaces and preserve their beauty for future generations. Before you leave your local park or beach to head home remember to take your rubbish with you or dispose of correctly in the bins provided. Don't leave behind any waste and leave the beautiful outdoors just as they were found, ready for the next enthusiastic picnic-goer.
A few simple changes to how you picnic outdoors can significantly reduce the impact you have on the environment around you. Happy picnicking!
Jasmine is a freelance writer and sustainable fashion enthusiast. After years of shopping in fast fashion stores and seeking out the latest trends, she discovered its quality, not quantity, that defines good fashion and style. She now curates a wardrobe she truly loves while staying true to her signature bright and bold style and channelling her love for fashion and eco-conscious ethos into her writing.