How To Have A Waste Free Picnic

It’s Summer, which means one thing! Picnics are our new favourite pastime, but when improperly prepared they can result in a lot of waste. Here are our tips to enjoying a waste free summer picnic.

Summer Means Picnics

Summer and heat mean one thing in the UK. Picnics are what we would do all day, every day. There’s nothing more pleasurable than an al fresco meal, enjoying the sunshine under the shade of leafy branches. The downside is that picnics can easily end up as a sad pile of rubbish.The temptation to buy one-portion meals or small size dips can be high when you’re panic buying in the supermarket. However there is huge satisfaction to be had from enjoying delicious food with little to no waste afterwards. Whilst many leave their trash in the open, those of us with our eyes on the environment struggle to get all our rubbish in public bins on the way home. Don’t get caught short.

how to have a waste free picnic

It’s ideal to plan ahead as much as possible, going zero waste needs to be planned. Then, you can think about the best part, the food. Think about what genuinely makes you happy to eat. You don’t have to limit yourself to a sad little sandwich and some grapes. Who said you can’t have noodles if you really want to? Of course the less complicated the dish, the better. Or have fun creating a menu with a theme and invite your friends to contribute.

how to have a waste free picnic Reusable cutlery and plates

Stylish Picnic Bags

Consider how you will carry everything with you. We highly recommend tote bags or a lovely vintage wicker picnic basket. Both are perfect. As is a cloth bento bag by Agnes LDN. Use the lunch boxes and containers you already have, or invest in plastic-free options. Stainless steel or bamboo are perfect (and look much better too, let’s be honest). We love these lunch boxes in particular. Disposable barbecues are increasingly banned as they’re really wasteful and carry a huge risk of fire. If you are keen to BBQ then why not choose a biodegradable one or bring a little portable barbecue instead? But remember to check whether they are allowed if you are in a public space and always be safe

The Finishing touches

Don’t forget seasonings! Dressings, dips and salt and pepper are game-changers. Simply use small washed out jars you have at home. Dips are a must, and if you want to wow your friends, pop them into empty jam jars that you have saved, adding labels to them. It’s important to avoid confusion between the hot sauce and the relish! At the end of the day, you can wash them with all the other things you’ll bring back home and keep them for the next occasion.

how to have a waste free picnic Reusable Jars

Reusable Plates and Cutlery

There’s also nothing wrong in eating a small prepared dish from your own lunch box. However if you want to share bigger dishes with several friends, forget about plastic plates and glasses. Bring your own along. A beautiful mish mash of old vintage plates and bowls adds a romantic element to your picnic. If you can’t bear to carry them, why not try bamboo plates as they won’t be as heavy as your usual ceramic ones. Bring some cutlery, we love this handy Ethiclal Lifestyle Toolkit. When it comes to straws, opt for sustainable, plastic-free options like this stainless steel set by Nature & My. Hydration is key, especially during a hot day. Reusable bottles are perfect, and if you want to avoid buying ice in plastic packaging, you can freeze them (remember that if they’re glass bottles, they can break this way). Ohelo’s stainless steel bottle will keep your water chilled. Another trick is to make your own ice cubes and store them in a Thermos flask! 

Hoping For Leftovers

At the end of your lovely day, you’ll see that after storing everything back in your bag, you won’t have anything left to waste. And if you have a few leftovers, even better! There are plenty of day-after creative recipes if you’re in the mood for cooking. You can also try our tips for making your food go further

Don’t forget to bring cotton clothes and tea towels too. They’re handy for wrapping loaves of bread, cakes and other baked goods in. Then they can be used to clean up. It’s more practical to wash them in your next laundry rather than carrying around a pile of used napkins. Not only have you drastically reduced your waste, but you’ve elevated your picnic to seriously chic levels. Yet another perk of thinking sustainability.

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