Happy International Picnic Day!
July 18th is International picnic day, Yay! I wanted to share some ideas for making our picnics more sustainable. These are from Yasmin Mills, sustainable events planner and founder of Ecofêtes.
Dig out whichever hamper, basket or even tote bag you would like to carry your picnic in, so you have it ready for when an opportunity arises.Even if you decide on an impromptu picnic without a hamper available and have to empty the contents of an old handbag to use it, resist the temptation of putting your chosen treats into a plastic bag.
If you're feeling Super Creative: Here is a video tutorial from “the sorry girls" with a Thrift Flip DIY Picnic bag made from a Thrifted, Old School Suitcase.
Putting together picnic food is only half the fun: If you put a little thought into your preparation you can bring theatre to the simplest al fresco meal. Filling your chosen hamper or basket ahead of time with vintage china plates, fabric napkins, real cutlery and glassware – rather than cheap throw away plastic and paper napkins – is not only greener, but far more elegant. dress your eco-friendly picnic for a celebration in the same way you would a table at home. If you want to make your picnic a more glamorous event, lay it out on a popping-coloured vintage tablecloth with napkins in bold hues – reds, pinks, turquoise or gold. Even add a parasol or two. Not only do they look fabulous but they shade you and your picnic from the sun.
Land and Sand Essentials in Australia make these Fabulous Umbrellas out of Ocean Recycled Plastic, and they ship worldwide!
I love Housing Works in NYC for fun, vintage and mismatched Crockery and Cutlery. However, if you don't want to carry real plates and cutlery, there are plenty of well- designed sustainable lightweight alternatives to plastic. Think bamboo plates, multi-coloured bowls made from wheat straw, coconut spoons, and for larger parties, these biodegradable options. A picnic rug or blanket will add some colour to the day, but also some beautiful fabric napkins will add an eco-lux touch to the smallest picnic and are greener than using throwaway paper ones.
Being greener is about shifting your mindset a little when you shop for your picnic, even if you are in a hurry. Instead of grabbing a sugary fizzy drink in a plastic bottle, choose a drink in glass bottle, for instance. Wrap with beeswax wraps, easily washable, they come in many pretty designs so are not only better for the environment, but much more chic than plastic packaging. Avoid plastic tupperwear, use vintage bowls or old jars instead - I cover them with brilliant re-useable silicone lids that you stretch over the top. Using the same ceramic or glass container to transport & serve your picnic food from saves space and looks so much more elegant.
As we've all been through strange times in the COVID years, the ceremony of a picnic can really lift spirits. It's a chance to share a little feast with your loved ones. So whether it's a family celebration or you're catching up with a friend you haven't seen for ages, why not try a new plant-based recipe or a local / natural / organic wine. Less is more, go for quality rather than quantity and taste every single mouthful!
Don't forget to pack some Ice!