Top 5 Tips on How to Have an Eco Friendly Picnic!

It’s picnic month and as summer reaches its peak – the weather is certainly appropriate for an al fresco dining experience!

Getting outside is actually incredibly important to the human psyche – even brief interactions with the great outdoors have been linked with improved health and productivity rates.

Despite these benefits; we must be conscious of our environment – all too often, plastic waste abandoned by picnickers is carried by wind and rain into rivers, thus polluting oceans. A staggering 80 percent of marine debris comes from inland sources; thus, in honour of Plastic Free July, we’re giving our top five tips on how to have an eco-friendly picnic!

1. Don’t buy bottled water and coffee in disposable cups! The exclusion of plastic water bottles from Glastonbury, or even major shops, such as Waitrose and their banning disposable coffee cups – helps instate the importance of rethinking our society’s ‘throw-away’ mentality. Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans per year; acknowledging this, let’s opt for refillable bottles and thermos!

2. Avoid cling film and aluminium foil! Both of which use a lot of resources to produce – while foil can be recycled; cling film cannot! Instead, after prepping your tasty sandwich; cover it in reusable beeswax wraps – or even pop it into a reusable container!

3. Jam jar salads! Sure, it might seem easy to snag a ready-made salad, preserved by a layer of single use plastic; but why not take a little inspiration from the great Jamie Oliver – get creative and make your own? Simply grab some ingredients from the market, wash out an old jam jar, stuff your salad inside and you’re good to go!

4. Avoid microbeads! Plastic can take thousands of years to decompose – instead it breaks down into microplastics, which are incredibly harmful to the environment. Worryingly, scientists have discovered that microplastics are becoming commonplace in food, particularly fish – and with the questionable impact on human health; it’s important to avoid items with ‘polypropylene’ or ‘polyethylene’ on the ingredients list! Be kind to the planet and opt for natural, biodegradable alternatives!

5. Clean up! It almost sounds obvious – but in the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s easy to neglect a milk bottle or the odd wrapper. Even though this may not seem like too drastic of an issue – this rubbish is sure to find its way into the waterways, travelling from sewage system, to river – finally reaching the ocean; causing contamination and damaging the underwater ecosystems.

Be forensic – remove all of your waste! If you’re bringing reusable products, such as plastic bags or bottles; hold onto them tightly as you leave – we don’t want litter blown from your bag into a canal! If you’re bringing reusable plates/forks; take care when cleaning them at home – no forcing food scraps down the plughole, and always bin residual fats, oils and greases!

Happy picnicking!

With these top tips, you can enjoy the great outdoors whilst also being kind to it! With a little common sense and the help of eco tabs’ non-pathogenic bacteria – we can provide our planet’s waters with a brighter, cleaner and clearer future!

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