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I’ve been wanting to write this post since September when I first thought of it, but somehow I’ve always been too busy to write it. So instead, I thought that Plastic-Free July would be a perfect time! Have you ever thought about how much plastic is used in a picnic? Maybe you grab a meal deal – that’s a sandwich with plastic, crisps with plastic and a drink in a plastic bottle. I’m very passionate about not buying meal deals and instead of making your own. Do you ever see people post on Instagram when they are on a picnic with friends? They always have bags of crisps or a plastic box of cakes etc. I understand that it is much easier to just go to a shop and buy it all, but surely it’s more fun to invite some friends and bake a batch of cookies? Either way, in this post I’m discussing how to have an eco-friendly picnic.

Travel

The first step to an eco-friendly picnic is travelling to the destination. Obviously, the best way is to walk, but if you are meeting up somewhere that is too far to walk, then carpool. If you are going with lots of people, this is even better. Alternatively, you could catch the bus or cycle. That kind of thing. Make sure you check for a car park before you go.

Food

Onto the main event of any picnic, the food! To be as eco-friendly as possible, make your own food. Some ideas:

  • Sandwiches
  • Cupcakes
  • Cookies
  • Hummus – I think you just blend chickpeas, lemon and a few other ingredients
  • Pasta salad
  • Muffins
  • Flapjack
  • Couscous salad
  • Sausage rolls
  • Lemonade
  • Veg crisps – I made some carrot crisps last week and they were delicious!

How to make carrot crisps

Why not have a go at making your own veggie crisps? I’ve put together a super simple recipe to make carrot ones, but you can follow the same steps for other veggies too!

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Peeler
  • Baking tray

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Peel the carrot, try to press down a bit to make them thicker and then add to the bowl.
carrot crisps uncooked
  1. Add the olive oil to the bowl and give it a toss
  2. Place the carrots on a baking tray, making sure that they are separate from eachother
  3. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly crispy.

Reusable water bottle* (gifted)

If you are going to have an eco-friendly picnic in the sun, then you will definitely need a reusable water bottle! SHO sell some amazing reusable water bottles which keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours! And if you are having a rainy day picnic, they keep warm liquids warm for 12 hours – pretty good if you ask me.

SHO original 2.0 reusable water bottle

Reusable picnicware

So now that you’ve made all that lovely homemade food, what are you going to store it in? Definitely not cling film or a plastic sandwich bag! My advice is to pack it in Tupperware as it will stay fresh for a long time. Alternatively, you could store it in a WaxWraps sandwich bag* (see my previous post), paper bag*, paper + string, etc.

Next, we have the cutlery. There has been a bit of controversy over bamboo cutlery. Some people like to have a separate set of cutlery that they only use for days out and they want to use bamboo because, why not? It is sustainable. Then there are others who want to use a set of cutlery but don’t want to buy bamboo because they already have plenty of sets at home that they can take out and use at home too. For me, I have bought a set of bamboo cutlery*. I bought it during uni when I couldn’t rely on there being another set of cutlery to use (because everyone stole mine 😑). I went on a few picnics and so needed them. As long as you don’t use single-use cutlery, I think either is fine.

Personally, I never bring plates to a picnic. We tend to eat finger food so don’t really require a plate. You could just eat from your Tupperware, or maybe you could buy one of those cool picnic hampers* that comes with plates and cutlery!

Take memories, leave footprints

Leave your destination as you found it! There is so much litter about which is absolutely devastating, and to be able to enjoy nature in the future, you need to take your rubbish home with you.

Best wishes, Cx

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46 Comments

  1. Fab post! Picnics are always a lot of fun but I agree that it’s so important to leave your destination as you found it. There is no need for litter!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

    1. Very true x

  2. Love all these tips! The carrot crisps look delicious and easy to make, need to give them a try!! It’s so important to make memories and not leaving litter behind, I find it so disrespectful that people can’t look after themselves! x

    1. Thank you, they were so good x

  3. Love this post Caroline. Too often, we opt for convenience when simple options are right in front of us.

    Personally, I made my own “on the go” cutlery sets. I bought some inexpensive stainless steel cutlery, fabric pouches, and cloth napkins. I keep one in my work backpack, my purse, my travel carry-on, and a couple in my car.

    1. Love the idea of your cutlery sets x

  4. Oh I do love a good picnic! These are really great ideas and I’m craving veggie crisps now – they sound gooooood!

    Katy | http://www.katystephenson.com | http://www.thegrownupsclub.com

    1. Haha! Thank you x

  5. I love being sandwiches with me when I go on a picnic. I love having sandwiches especially when I go out. I love all of these ideas.

    1. Thank you x

  6. Great advice for an eco-friendly picnic. Will definitely look out for bamboo cutlery.

    1. Thank you!

    2. thank you 🙂

  7. Awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing! It’s so important to be mindful of how we can reduce our waste. I’ve heard so many people talk about the convenience of paper plates and plastic cutlery, when in reality, it’s horrible for the planet and it’s costly! We should all keep this in mind for picnics, camping, bbqs, and more! Thank you again for this post!

    1. So true! Thank you 🙂

  8. It’s actually not very hard to have a sustainable picnic is it? You can take all your own cutlery, not use anything disposable and even make you’re own veggie dishes and things. I’d love to have a picnic soon!

    1. I agree! x

  9. I LOVE picnics! Excellent tips, thank you.

    1. Thank you x

  10. I love hummus for a picnic, and it goes with everything 🙂 thank you for sharing this overview to stay sustainable while enjoying yourself this summer x

    1. Thank you xx

  11. Hi! I love this idea, thanks so much for sharing! I really need to invest in a reusable water bottle! Alicia

    1. I’d definitely recommend the SHO bottle – it kept my water ice-cold, even in the 30-degree heat!

  12. Wow, an eco-friendly picnic — I think the best way to do this is walking as you said and maybe a healthy snack at that! Love the carrot crisps, it reminds me of my fave snack here in our hometown called banana chips. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

    1. Banana chips sound fun! x

  13. I love your passion for maintaining a low environmental footprint and you’ve provided so many great suggestions which I will use. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Jodie!x

  14. This is such a great idea! the carrot crisps sounds interesting, might give it a try! And it’s so important to leave the destinations clean. Thank you for sharing this eco-friendly picnic idea!

    1. Thank you xx

  15. This is such a wonderful post! The last time I had a picnic with my partner, daughter & my partner’s mother, I made us sandwiches, potato salad & sausage rolls. I brought everything in Tupperware containers & brought regular silverware. We also walked to the park downtown.
    I really want a picnic basket though!!!

    1. Aww, this sounds so lovely x

  16. jessica says:

    i absolutely hate when people throw their rubbish in the park and not in the bins! i always try to bring as little waste as possible when i go on picnics with my boyfriend. we hate wasting food and making a mess!

    jessica | http://www.overdressedblogger.com

  17. I’m loving this idea of an eco friendly picnic, I agree, people who throw their rubbish on the ground and not in the bins or even take it home with them are awful! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  18. I have a water bottle similar to that one that I picked up from an auction benefitting a local animal rescue recently, and I love it! Mine is white and says ‘Rescue Mom’ on the side of it which makes me love it even more! My favourite part about the metal water bottles is how durable they are when you’re out and about. I can take it camping without worrying about the cracks and leaking that can come from many of the plastic varieties if they are accidentally knocked off the picnic table or a dog steps on them while excited around the campfire (yes, both of those exact situations have happened to me lol)

    1. Awww, love the sound of your water bottle! So true 🙂

  19. Aw, I love this post on an eco-friendly picnic. There is so much packaging in food stores now so its hard to get anything without packaging unless you go to a farmers market or stick to glass! My family loves the outdoors so we always pick up after ourselves. Thanks for sharing x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. I agree 🙁

  20. JamieAdStories says:

    Your ideas are always brill! I love how you make it sound achievable and inspire people to be more eco-friendly.

    1. Thank you so much ☺

  21. My dream comes true after seeing and reading this blog on twitter first and then on the actual blog itself, Caroline!!
    This is the most simple way to implement things and loved the way you write it in a suitable manner.
    Thanks!

    1. Aw thank you! That means so much to me x

  22. Penny says:

    This was very helpful Caroline! I’ve been looking for ways to have eco-friendly picnics as I’ve started to have more picnics lately! xx Penny

    1. Thank you x

  23. Mind Beauty Simplicity says:

    I def need to purchase some reusable utensils for parties and picnics alike. Those items can be so wasteful. Loved this post! Very creative.

    1. Thank you B xx

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