How to have a sustainable picnic

As we approach summer, and as the challenging restrictions we’ve faced over the last 18 months start to lift, we’re starting to crave more and more quality time outdoors with loved ones. What better way to enjoy these natural surroundings than to accompany them in a picnic. 

While picnics provide some incredible family moments, they often come at an environmental price given the amount of waste they can generate. From individually packaged sandwiches purchased for convenience, to clingfilm, paper serviettes, and single-use cutlery - much of this ends up in the bin. We even have the temptation to throw these items away at the end of a picnic, even when they haven't been used  

If you want to make your picnics more eco-friendly then this article is for you. As is our mantra here at Green Bee, small changes certainly have a big impact. 

5 ways to eco-picnic

Why not try some of these simple steps the next time you go for a picnic.

1. Take reusable plates and cutlery 

The easiest way to remain sustainable when we picnic is to use the plates and cutlery that we already have at home. If you’re anything like us, you probably have an abundance crockery sitting at the back of the cupboard screaming out to be used. Simply wrap them in a tea towel, which can double-up as picnic serviettes, and you’re good to go. This also looks far more elegant than the single-use alternatives. 

2. Make you own food

Instead of buying pre-packaged sandwiches and nibbles from the shop, spend a little time making these from scratch at home. There’s nothing better than homemade potato salad, or a pesto pasta served up at your favourite picnic site. Not only will this save money, it’ll certainly taste better, will be healthier, and there’s no associated waste. Win-win.

3. Wrapping food 

Quite simply, don’t use clingfilm. In the UK, we use enough of the stuff every year to go around the globe 30 times - most of this can be avoided. The easiest option is to pack food in multi-use storage containers. Yes, lunchboxes are plastic, but they’re not single use. You can also use beeswax wraps or cotton napkins to wrap your sandwiches.  

4. Finger foods without plastic 

Finger snacks are a must-have at any picnic, particularly when the kids are concerned. Whether you’re making cucumber batons, carrot sticks or apple pieces, always choose loose fruit and veg from your local green grocer or supermarket. The more we boycott items wrapped in plastic, the less likely they will stay on the shelves.  

5. Compost leftovers

This ones our favourite and probably the one that’s most overlooked. Before you throw leftover food in the bin, separate out all of the fruit and vegetable waste, put it in a lunch box and take back home for composting. Half eaten apples and lone carrot sticks will complement any compost pile perfectly. General food waste can also be brought back and put in your household food waste bin - it’s better there than a general waste bin found in a local park.

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