Plastic Free Picnics: Summer is Here

With the sun starting to shine and the days warming up, now is the perfect time to get your picnic gear out, but have you asked yourself, ‘how can I make my picnic plastic-free?’ 

In this blog we will dive into all our best tips for throwing the most sustainable picnic possible, freeing up space in your mind to really relax and enjoy nature without the worry of chasing after your crisp packets in the wind! 

Planning The Meal

Before you head out, you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need. Here are a few questions to get you going.

  • Is your meal going to be eaten with a fork and knife?
  • Do you need something to wipe your face with? 
  • Will you be wrapping your food up or does it have a natural layer of protection? 
  • Do you need cups, plates or other dishes? 
  • How are you carrying the food you’re bringing? 

There are plastic-free solutions to all of these!

  • Bring silverware from home or opt for a compostable option.
  • Cloths work well for clean-ups big and small. And, the best part is, they can be reused again and again. 
  • Beeswax wraps are life savers when it comes to taking food on the go – there are vegan options available as well. 
  • Using dishes you already own instead of single-use items will have the planet smiling at you – just don’t forget to take them home with you. 
  • Reusable jars, tiffins and Tupperware make excellent reusable carriers especially when you need a lid. 

Plastic Free Picnic Food: 

The most important item at any picnic has to be the food. That’s why we recommend heading to a Zero-Waste shop before you start packing up your meal. Here you can find incredible ingredients to fill up on without creating any waste.

Sandwich Time

You can truly fit anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich. This allows you to get seriously creative and create some delicious combinations. 

Below are a few of our favourite sandwich fillings:  

  • Chickpea “Tuna” Sandwiches 
  • Homemade Hummus 
  • Bánh mì with pickled daikon and carrot, spicy chilis, and cucumber
  • Meat From Your Local Butcher 
  • Seasonal Produce 
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly (an American classic) 

Didn’t see your favourite filling on the list? Let us know your favourite option in the comment section below. We’re always hoping to find new flavour explosions! 

Plastic Free Pasta Salads

Bringing a pasta salad on your picnic is such a treat! 

You can get very creative with it – depending on what fruits and veggies are in season. Your pasta salad can also feature a mix and match of different types of noodles for an edible masterpiece.

A summer orzo salad is our go-to option. You can pair these tiny pasta pieces with tomatoes, olives, fresh lemon, olive oil and more! 

If you’re not an orzo lover – why don’t you try a homemade pesto pasta salad? You can carefully select what ingredients you’d like to make it unique to you. 

Soups To-Go

If you own a mason jar or reusable water bottles on hand, then you can have your soup to-go! 

There are endless possibilities for the soups you can make. 

A 3-bean chilli, a bright summer gazpacho, vegetable minestrone, corn and carrot – the list could go on and on. 

You can always ask the staff at your local zero waste shop what type of soup they would recommend or give it a quick Google search. 

The Setup: 

Plastic Free Picnic walk
Photo credit: Jennie Claydon

Creating a space for you to enjoy your plastic-free picnic in key, especially if you’re looking to take some photos for Instagram or to use on your blog.

Let’s start with the base. 

We love to use a light blanket. If you’re lucky enough to have a colourful one on hand, bring it with! This will add a perfect ‘pop’ to the scene. You can choose to bring whatever item you have laying around the house – think towels, blankets and throws.

The most eco-friendly option available is the one you already own. 

You may also choose to add in some pillows for extra comfort or an umbrella to hide away from the sun with (although if you don’t own one already, trees make a mighty fine alternative).  

You may also use this time to find something appropriate to carry all of your supplies with. 

A backpack works wonders but if that’s not your style, you can go the more traditional route with a basket! 

We always recommend using something you have at home, so a reusable bag does the job. 

If you’re looking to make your picnic a little extra special – pop by your local charity shops and see what they have to offer! We’re constantly amazed by the exciting things we find, and you can make a whole day out of it. 

Time to Go!

Gorgeous flowers in the summer sun
Photo credit: Jennie Claydon

Now that you have carefully selected your items, it’s time to pack everything up and head on out. Don’t forget to fill your reusable water bottle up before you leave, especially if it’s a sunny day.

Having a picnic can be a ton of fun. It’s a great way to get away and connect with yourself and the nature around you. We want to send out a gentle reminder for anyone having a picnic…

Please, leave no trace behind. 

Have fun, eat up and keep it clean. 

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