Nothing beats eating outside in the sunshine. But how can you make sure that your picnic or barbecue is eco-friendly and plastic free?
It might not have seemed like it with all that rain in June, but summer is officially here. And on those happy days when the sun actually shines, all of us love to get outside and eat al fresco. What better way to celebrate July’s National Picnic Month?
Here at Y’earn, we love picnics, but we want to make sure we don’t leave a tonne of plastic behind. We are committing to Plastic Free July, a global initiative to reduce plastic pollution. So, here are our top tips for a plastic free picnic that you can enjoy with your family, knowing that you are doing your bit for the planet too.
Make use of reusables
It wouldn’t be much of a picnic without plates, cutlery, cups and straws. Unfortunately, if you go for the single-use option, this can be a major source of plastic waste. Instead, why not invest in some reusable sets which you can take along to every summer plastic free picnic?
We can’t get enough of these Eco Picnic Cups from Zuperzozial. When you next need a lunchbox (or picnic box!) then check out Mintie. Also, what picnic set is complete without a spork like this one from Elephant Box? If buying new is not an option right now, keep it simple: take along some plates from home or rent from your local Party Kit network.
Clingfilm is not your friend
Plastic wrap is so easy to use, but thankfully there are now many great alternatives which are just as simple. Beeswax wraps like these ones from The Beeswax Wrap Co. have been making a splash, as have silicone snack bags. Or what about carrying your food in good old-fashioned Tupperware? If you can find the lid in that mysterious cupboard where lids disappear, Tupperware is hard to beat.
Cloth napkins beat paper
It might seem like more of a faff, but investing in a set of cloth napkins is a fantastic way to reduce the use of both paper napkins and the plastic they are wrapped in. The internet is full of beautiful designs, like these colourful ones from Marley’s Monsters. If you’re feeling handy, why not make some yourself out of old fabric?
Borrow, don’t buy
Sure, it might seem like you need 16 picnic chairs, but realistically you know that they are going to sit in your garage for most of the year. Instead of buying more, consider borrowing what you need. You could even ask your friends and family to bring their own chairs. People who can get on board with bringing their own booze can probably bring their own furniture too.
Plan your menu in advance
A little bit of careful planning can go a long way when it comes to a plastic free picnic. Rather than buying pre-packaged (in plastic) food, make your dishes at home. And, as chilled drinks are a must, make ice in ice cube trays rather than buying bags of ice. Don’t panic and over cater! Offer your family a range of eating options, but don’t buy too much. It will only create more waste in the end, when shopping for ingredients, here are our favourite sustainable food brands!
Decorate with care
Birthday picnics demand decoration, but these can also be a source of plastic waste. Thankfully, eco-friendly decorations are on the up. Check out our article for some tips on the best way to decorate that doesn’t harm the environment, and can ensure a plastic free picnic!
Slip, slap, slop
Suncream is obviously a must, but do Mother Nature a favour and grab an eco-friendly option. Luckily, there are loads more of these on the market these days and many of them won’t break the bank. Check out our guide to the best eco-friendly sun creams on the market. Because after all, if you’re going to a plastic free picnic, you may as well keep everything eco!
Barbecue in style
If your al fresco dining will also include a plastic free barbecue, think carefully about the best eco-friendly option. Disposable barbecues are not fantastic in terms of reducing waste, so why not invest in a barbecue like this one that you can keep? If you do invest, bear in mind that a natural gas grill is often the most environmentally friendly choice, as it has almost got greenhouse gas neutrality.
Follow these tips and you’ll be all set for a wonderful plastic free picnic that the whole family can enjoy. And, if you need any other items, to complete your special day, or even just some inspiration for an eco-friendly day out with kids, Y’earn is happy to help. From UV tents and travel highchairs, to bike trailers and shoulder carriers to help get the family there, we have a great selection available to rent. Happy dining!
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If this is your first visit, hello, let us introduce ourselves. We’re Y’earn and we exist to create more love, less landfill. Pretty lofty, right? Well, not really, it’s actually pretty simple. Our aim is to make renting as common as owning so we live more sustainably while helping the community around us.
Y’earn is a parent-to-parent marketplace to rent Baby & Kids items from people in your community or make some cash if you have items you don’t need right now. We’re a sustainable business that plants 🌲, adopts 🐝 and donates to children’s charities. We’re helping each other and the planet, one rental at a time.
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