Eat your veggies! (51)

Keeping Your Picnic Eco-Friendly

It’s National Picnic Month! Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in your picnic basket.

Keep it local

Try a green alternative for transportation. Walking, skating, and biking will cut down on fuel, and give you a chance to sneak in some extra exercise!

Reduce and reuse

Bring along some reusable plastic plates, washable napkins, water bottles, and cutlery. Try making it even more eco-friendly with recycled bamboo cutlery. Doing this can save money and cut down on waste.

  • Carry your containers in a reusable grocery bag.
  • If bringing reusable plates/cups is too much of a hassle, try investing in biodegradable paper plates instead.

Package your own food

Make sandwiches, or cut veggies and fruits the night before, and pre pack them into a plastic container. Once again, this cuts down on waste and prevents you from wanting to buy any unnecessary pre-packaged food.

  • If you do go for pre-packaged food, go for products that have a biodegradable wrapper.
  • Try packing food that requires no refrigeration, and no utensils. Organic chicken salad sandwiches, grapes, strawberries, carrots and homemade hummus. Anything you can eat with your hands. This is especially fun for small children!
  • Instead of pre-made individual juices for the kids, try making homemade lemonade the night before. Pour into small, reusable bottles, and there you go. Healthy juice boxes to go! (Minus the chemicals, dyes, and high fructose corn syrup).

Use a camp stove that doesn’t rely on petroleum

Biolite makes camp stoves and portable grills that use twigs and sticks, instead of petroleum/charcoal, to fuel. This results in clean and safe cooking.

Take your trash with you

Litter in picnic areas can be hazardous to children, animals, and the environment. Discard of it properly. Even better, put any trash back in your reusable grocery bag and bring it home to recycle!

Protect yourself

The skin is the body’s largest organ. Conventional sunscreens and bug sprays contain harsh chemicals that are dangerous when absorbed into the skin.

Try out these all-natural alternatives:

Bug Spray: Burt’s Bees, Repel Natural, All Terrain

Sunscreen: Badger, California Baby, Soleo Organics, Desert Essence

A few other options for protecting yourself from bites, and overexposure to the sun include wearing sensible clothing that covers your skin. Also, try to skip perfume or any scented soaps and lotions. Instead try an all-natural, unscented soap that day to prevent attracting any unwanted bug bites.

Protect your eyes in an eco-friendly way

Over exposure to the sun can severely wear on eyes. Wearing sunglasses is an important factor in protecting them.

Try these eco-friendly sunglasses to help:

Leave the electronics at home

Instead, bring a nature journal—record what you see, smell, hear, and feel. Other alternatives include: binoculars, outside games, or a jump rope.

  • An exception: bring a camera, and take pictures—but that’s it.

Keep away from animal’s natural habitats

It’s fine to look from afar, but stay away from any nesting areas to prevent harming, or endangering yourself and the animals.

Have any more tips on making your picnic in the park a little greener? Let us know!

Shauna Willetts