As the sunshine stays put (hurray) and the socialising continues; picnics in the park feel like the perfect weekend plan! However, unfortunately, often when we purchase shop bought picnic items, lots of excess plastic come with it.
Of course, plastic packed food products and single use packaging can be convenient, however they can lead to a throw away culture which with time, becomes problematic in many ways.
Because plastic packaging has a lasting impact on the environment, it’s worth considering being more conscious about our plastic purchases.
If you’re planning a picnic in the next couple of weeks, but are hoping to avoid single use plastics, hopefully some of the tips below will help.
Plan your picnic
Before you head out for the day, make a plan.
Do you have anything in the fridge that could make up part of your picnic before heading to the shops? Throwing together a salad from some leftover vegetables in the fridge, making some houmous using that last tin of chickpeas or preparing some sandwiches ahead of time can be a great way to prevent single use plastics which can often be found in the grab and go section of the supermarket. Make the most of what you have first, and then grab what you still need afterwards.
Take a reusable bottle
Sounds simple, however plastic water bottles are one of the most common single use plastics, and with a very short life span; they can end up empty and in the bin within minutes of purchase, which can be easily prevented by carrying a reusable bottle. Keeping your reusable bottle close will help to save money, reduce waste and keep you hydrated too! Winning!
Be picky with your packaging
If you’re making some of the picnic items at home, think about how you will transport them. Reusing large jars for salads/ a homemade dip, or storing your sandwiches in a reusable tub can be a great way to reduce the need for plastic cling film but still keep your food super fresh! Investing in some reusable cutlery can also a plastic preventer!
If you know you’ll be heading to the shops, carrying a re-usable tote bag will mean you can turn down a plastic bag when picking up your goodies.
A deli counter can be a great place to pick up some take away nibbles. If you decide to partake, be brave and take your own Tupperware! Helpful for the environment and the business saves money and resources too!
When possible, opting for non packaged fruits and vegetables is a great way to reduce single use plastic and often means you only buy what you need, minimising the potential for food waste. Grabbing the loose fruit and veg needed for your picnic or choosing jars/ cardboard boxes over plastic punnets is a step in the right direction.
Do your research. If there is a place local to you which is mindful of reducing plastic packaging, why not make yourself a regular! It can often be easier on the purse strings too!
All of this may sound good, but of course it’s not always realistic. It’s all about meeting yourself where you are and doing what you can.
The more plastic produced the more overwhelming and difficult it is to tackle. Plastics often contain additives which make them fit their initial purpose; however these additives can extend the life of the products, at times taking hundreds of years to breakdown. So, even things like turning down an un-necessary plastic straw, or saving leftover jars for picnic packaging can make a huge difference. By trying to get involved with these small sustainable swaps, whether it’s just one change or trying a couple, we will be doing our bit to try and make a difference.
If you’re in a hurry and want to picnic plastic free, head to the Garden and make the most of our take away menu. All of our take away packaging is biodegradable, we encourage keep cups, offer re-usable straws and have a policy which encourages customers to bring back their glass bottles after use so that they can be used again.
We are always on a mission to learn new ways to minimise waste and help reduce the impact of single use plastics on the environment. Check out our ‘Love Your Mother’ sustainability campaign, designed to keep us accountable for sustainable business practices.
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