As the days get brighter National Picnic Month is quickly approaching, taking place every year on the 1st of July.
So, if you're looking to plan a sustainable, zero-waste picnic and soak up some sun (while it lasts) then you've come to the right place. It's important to try our best to minimise the damage to the environment whilst enjoying the outdoors.
Here are the top 10 items that will help make your picnic an eco-friendly success.
1. Picnic Hampers, Baskets And Coolers
The first thing you'll need to think about is how you're going to transport and hold all your delicious snacks in a reusable and sustainable way.
A basic must-have is a sturdy picnic hamper or basket to store all your food and supplies. These come in a wide variety of materials and styles, so you can find one that best fits your needs and taste. If you're bringing cold foods with you, you'll also need a high-quality cooler to keep everything chilled and fresh.
Whilst you can find these online anywhere, we recommend you browse your local charity shops first, in case you spot a few picnic bargains!
2. Picnic BlanketA good picnic blanket can make all the difference between a comfortable meal and a bug-ridden disaster. But with so many different types of blankets on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
If you're looking for a good eco-friendly option, choose a blanket made from recycled polyester, which will last you very long. We are loving this recycled picnic blanket made from old plastic straws! An eco-friendly alternative that looks great, is lightweight, and doesn't break the bank. You can also opt to use old curtain fabrics and blankets instead if you're running out of time to prepare for your picnic adventure.
3. Tableware (Plates, Bowls, Cutlery, Cups, etc.
When packing for a picnic, it's important to choose tableware that is eco-friendly and easy to clean up. Disposable plates, bowls, and cups are all great options that will make cleanup a breeze.
We suggest our collection of disposable bamboo tableware. Sustainably sourced from naturally fallen palm leaves, our bamboo plates, bowls & cutlery are the perfect, guilt-free way to accompany your outdoor picnics. And once you're done, you can simply dispose of them as natural bamboo is biodegradable. Need a large salad bowl? Or a durable and water-proof bowl for soup? We've got you covered. Present your snacks and dishes in style today!
If you're looking for something a little more robust, consider using metal or glass tableware. These are dishwasher safe and thus easily cleaned and reused. Plus, they'll add a touch of elegance to your picnic spread, although they will be heavier to carry. By keeping your tableware plastic-free, you'll also be doing yourself a favour of keeping your picnic BPA free too. No more toxic plastics please!
Whatever type of tableware you choose, make sure to pack enough for everyone at your party.
4. Cutting Board And Knife
For picnics, it's always good to pack a cutting board and knife so you can easily prepare any food you brought. With the environment in mind, one easy way is to simply bring your cutting board/knives from home with you to use (that'll save you some money too!).
However, if you are by chance shopping for a new eco-friendly cutting board, one option is to look for a bamboo cutting board that is sustainable and also gentle on knives. We recommend Green Tulip's range of cutting boards, made from organic bamboo and finished with food-safe oils.
As for knives, many options are eco-friendly and still very sharp. For example, ceramic knives are made of recycled materials and don't need to be sharpened as often as metal knives.
5. Corkscrew / Bottle Opener
Be sure to include a corkscrew or bottle opener among your picnic essentials. But how do you find the best eco-friendly options out there? A great place to start is by looking for multi-purpose items that will work for both opening wine and beer bottles alike. For example, bottle openers that double as keychains or rings are simple yet effective, and they take up minimal space in your picnic basket. We also recommend this wooden bottle opener made from sustainably grown beechwood from Europe.
6. Ice Packs And Thermos
If you're planning to pack perishable items like fruits and vegetables, it's important to keep them cool. Traditional ice packs can be wasteful and damaging to the environment. Instead, try using frozen water bottles or repurposing items like yoghurt cups or bean cans.
If you're packing hot food, a thermos is a great way to keep it at the perfect temperature. And if you're looking for an eco-friendly option, there are now biodegradable and compostable thermos options made from sustainable materials such as this double-walled insulated bamboo thermos. So whether you're packing a picnic lunch or dinner, make sure to consider your eco-friendly options for keeping things cold (or hot).
7. Napkins/Paper towels/Baby Wipes
Napkins, paper towels, and baby wipes are all essential items for a picnic. Not only will they help to keep your hands clean, but they can also be used to wipe up spills and clean up messes.
Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly alternatives available. Reusable cloth napkins are a great way to reduce waste, and they can be easily washed and reused. If you're picnicking in a place with limited water access, biodegradable paper towels or wipes are a good option. These products are made from natural materials that will break down quickly, minimising the impact on the environment.
8. Hand Wipes/Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
Before you head out, be sure to pack everything you need to keep your hands clean and bacteria-free especially if you'll have children present - we know how much they like to play outdoors!
Hand wipes or antibacterial gel is essential, especially if you'll be handling food in a place with limited clean running water and soap. We recommend this non-rinse & plastic-free hand gel from Wearth, packaged in recycled glass. This hand gel is also both vegan friendly and cruelty-free!
Once you've got your hand-cleaning supplies sorted out, the rest of your picnic packing will be a breeze. So get out there and enjoy the sunshine!
9. Beeswax Wraps
When it's time to pack up and go home, there may be some leftovers that need taking care of. Traditional plastic cling film is extremely wasteful but luckily beeswax wraps are a great alternative! They contain no plastic or other harmful materials, and they're reusable, so you can feel good about helping the environment while you enjoy your meal. Plus, they're easy to use: simply wrap up your food in a beeswax wrap and secure it with string if you need that extra level of protection.
Beeswax wraps come in a variety of sizes, patterns and colour, so you can find one that's perfect for your picnic needs. We recommend the Beeswax Wraps Co. And if you're worried about them melting in the heat, don't be - beeswax is temperature-resistant, so your food will stay fresh and cool all day long. So ditch the plastic and go green with beeswax wraps! Enjoy 10% off your first order if you subscribe to their newsletter today.
10. Biodegradable Waste Bags
When packing for a picnic, don't forget to bring along biodegradable waste bags to help reduce your impact on the environment. These bags are made from materials like cornstarch or vegetable oil, which break down naturally over time. Once you're done picnicking, simply toss your waste in the bag and dispose of it in a compost bin or garbage can. It's that easy!
Other Miscellaneous Items To Consider Packing For Your Picnic:
Extra blanket for the evenings.
Ready To Have The Perfect Eco-Friendly Picnic?
With a little bit of preparation, your picnic can be eco-friendly and enjoyable for everyone. We hope this list was helpful for your next picnicking adventure, all you need now is to search for the best picnic recipes for food and drinks of course! We'll leave that part to you.
Let us know if you have any eco-friendly picnic ideas or suggestions that we've missed and click the link below to start stocking up on ethical party supplies for the Summer season.