A nice picnic under the warm sun can do wonders for your mind. It is the perfect opportunity to bond with your friends and to spend time with your family. And in case you are wondering, it is not actually difficult to have a zero-waste picnic outdoors.
Today, we are going to share with you four simple tips that you can follow to keep waste to a minimum.
Prepare your own food
When people plan to get together and eat their meals at the park, many would just opt to bring pre-packaged foods. While this could be the easiest or most convenient option, it also means that there would be a lot of food packaging around. As we all know, food packaging is hard to recycle and would often just end up in the trash bin.
So, what’s the alternative and better option? Bring homemade food instead!
You can prepare healthy sandwiches, snacks, and salads. Bring fruits that are in season. You can even use leftover food from your fridge and incorporate them into new meals. The important thing to remember here is to not let any food go to waste.
No to disposables, yes to reusable containers
After preparing your picnic food, put them in reusable containers. This is the best tip that we can give you to minimize waste.
For the food
The trick is to find the best container for each type of food. For instance, if you are bringing bread from the bakery, you can put them in reusable linen bags instead of single-use plastic or paper bags. You will be delighted to know that aside from looking much more presentable, linen bags can effectively preserve the crispiness of the bread.
For sandwiches, your best option is definitely not a plastic Ziploc nor parchment paper. You can use a sandwich cloth bag only if you are sure that there is enough space for the food not to get pressed. To be sure, just place them in reusable sandwich containers or lunch boxes.
Whatever dish you are planning to bring, keep them in reusable and lidded containers. You can even put salad or dessert inside a mason jar if you want to. Now is the best time to be creative!
For the drinks
As for the beverage, do not forget to use refillable water bottles. Insulated bottles or tumblers can keep your drinks hot or cold for a very long time.
Lastly, skip the straws. They are very bad for the environment. As much as possible, drink directly from your glass. If you must really use a straw, use reusable ones like metal straws or bamboo straws.
Use biodegradable utensils
You can’t always bring finger food for picnics. And one reason why there is so much trash after a gathering is because of disposable utensils. Plastic spoons, forks, and knives will all end up in the trash bin after just one single use.
The best way to avoid this is by using your own cutleries from your home. Another option is to consider using biodegradable utensils for a zero-waste picnic.
Did you know that bamboo utensils are durable, reusable, lightweight, and 100% biodegradable? Think of all the waste that we can prevent if we just bring our own utensils when we go out.
Leave no traces behind
Your picnic comes to an end but your responsibility towards the environment does not. Before going home, make sure that there will be no trash or litter left in the picnic area. Use reusable cloth tissues to clean the tables instead of using disposable paper napkins.
Extra clean containers will come in handy if there are leftovers that you need to bring home. Pack everything carefully to avoid food spoilage.
Next, segregate. If you followed our tips above, then most likely there will be very minimal waste. However, other people might not be as eco-conscious as you. Look around and identify those that need to be disposed of already and items which are still recyclable. Put them carefully in separate bags.
Finally, if you brought fresh produce like fruits and vegetables, make sure to collect the peels in one container. At home, you can put them on top of your compost pile. This is one of the best ways to reduce waste and garbage.
We are very much happy to impart our zero-waste picnic tips above. Again, single-use plastics and packaging need to go. As long as there is a conscious effort on your part to help keep waste to a minimum, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a nice picnic outside.
We trust that you will have fun with your zero-waste picnic! Don’t forget to follow health and safety protocols when you go out.