At first thought, an eco-friendly picnic may seem a bit ridiculous. After all, aren't you simply just enjoying nature, sharing a meal with your family and friends?
Have you ever noticed how much garbage that can accumulate after an outdoor picnic or barbeque? Disposable dishes, napkins, beverage containers, and even used diapers can be found overflowing in our parks and on our beaches. And, because most of these are made of non-renewable petroleum-based products, they release contaminants into the environment as they break down in the land-fill. How can we enjoy natures beauty when we are contaminating it with pollutants?
So what can we do?
Consider biking, walking or hiking to your picnic destination. Less pollution in the air and exercise for you.
What To Pack:
An eco-friendly picnic does not include styrofoam! It is a suspected carcinogen, it endangers wildlife and it is not biodegradable. Please avoid styrofoam coffee cups, plates and coolers.
To minimize food packaging as much as possible, place your picnic food into reusable containers whenever possible. You can even skip the plastic wrap altogether and use Wrap-N-Mat Reusable Mat for your picnic sandwiches!
Reusable cloth napkins are the most earth-friendly (especially if they are made of organic natural fibres!). A good second choice is 100% recycled paper napkins, which can be composted.
100% biodegradable dishes are becoming more available. But the simple act of bringing your own reusable dishes can save a lot of waste. You could also consider bringing along your own Eco-Friendly Bamboo Utensil Set? They can be brought back home to be washed again and again!
Instead of purchasing bottles of water (which are made from non-renewable resources and shipped long distances), buy a collapsible water bag or simply fill your own reusable, BPA-free, water bottle.
For small groups and family picnics, use an Eco-Friendly Natural Picnic Basket, backpack or picnic cooler filled with reusable dishes and cloth napkins. And don't forget the picnic blanket!
Pack It In, Pack It Out:
Remember to take a trash bag or two along (consider eco-friendly, 100% biodegradable garbage bags). Pack all trash and leftover food with you when you leave. Sort recyclable and compostable waste whenever possible. And please, don't hesitate to pick up another person's trash as well.
Respect the Environment:
Teach your children to admire and smell those wild flowers, but not to pick them. Allow them to be amazed at the colors in the rocks, but to leave them in their natural homes. Do as little damage to nature as possible by remaining on established trails.