What could be nicer than an old-fashioned picnic? How about an old-fashioned, eco-friendly picnic? Keep reading for 10 easy tips for some green summer fun!
- Get close
If you’re the one choosing the picnic location, stick close to home and walk or bike there instead of driving. Local parks, sports fields, beaches and bays, a nature preserve, or even a friend’s backyard (or your own) will make for a beautiful, and more eco-friendly, picnic.
- Pack it in and pack it out
Forget the paper plates and disposable stuff. Pack an eco-friendly picnic basket with reusable dishes and utensils. If that’s just not possible and you must go disposable, then opt for biodegradable dishes.
- Toss the napkins
Since you’re skipping paper plates and plastic utensils, ditch the paper napkins as well. Pick up some cute gingham handkerchiefs, or inexpensive cloth napkins. They’re sturdier, and far more eco-friendly!
- Foil the foil
And the plastic wrap and the baggies, and… Pack your food in reusable containers instead of wrapping them in layers of single use stuff that has to go in the trash. Cushion glass or ceramic containers with your cloth napkins or opt for BPA-free plastic containers.
- Keep it healthy for you and the environment
Pack your basket full of organic, in-season, locally grown produce for a delicious, nutritious, and good-for-the environment (and you) meal.
- Go low
Opt for foods lower on the food chain to keep your picnic as green as possible. Chicken takes fewer resources than beef, and beans and legumes take fewer resources than chicken, etc.
- Trash it right
When the picnic is over, don’t just toss everything in the convenient trash bin. Compost the compostables, recycle the recyclables and do what you can to reduce how much you actually throw away.
- Clean it up
Follow the Leave No Trace principles and clean up behind yourself. A good picnicker leaves no trash, a great picnicker leaves the site even better and cleaner than they found it.
- Make it about nature
A picnic isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. Take time to enjoy the natural setting. Lie back and listen to the wind in the trees, or the birds singing or take a nature walk. If you’ve got kids along, create a nature treasure hunt for a fun and educational experience.
We’re not going to suggest that you completely turn off electronics – after all, picnic photos are charming, and a little picnic music can be fun. We will say, be sure to unplug your charges to foil the energy vampires.