Long summer days and agreeable weather always work up our family’s appetite to eat outdoors. In fact, picnicking is one of our favorite outdoor activities this time of year! Fortunately, you can plan a green family picnic that not only incorporates healthy, locally-grown foods, but also minimizes waste, but not the convenience or fun.
With a little foresight and organization, its easy to transport and enjoy a meal outside – whether you’re hiking to a new spot, or simply laying out a blanket at the local playground or your own backyard.
Here are 5 ingredients that you’ll want to include next time you plan a picnic:
1. Start with fresh, healthy locally-grown organic foods. Treat your body right by selecting items grown or raised without pesticides, chemicals or hormones. In summer, many communities have regular farmers’ markets at which you’ll be able to find the tastiest pickings for your family. Create sandwiches or salads for your meal and include some tasty fresh fruit for dessert.
2. Give up the bottle. I’m talking about single-use water bottles. For that matter, don’t lug around soda cans, either. Reuseable BPA-free bottles can be filled and refilled many times to quench your thirst for years to come. Ice cold water, lemonade or iced tea are summertime drink favorites!
3. Tote your picnic lunch in a canvas tote, backpack or cooler. Let’s be realistic here. Those adorable picnic baskets are not only difficult to carry, but they are impractical. Sure, the sight of one may leave you fantasizing about an image dreamed up in your youth. But in reality, baskets that are good for one thing, and one thing only, are kind of a waste.
4. Bring your own utensils and plates, or go with biodegradable disposables. Not all paper plates and napkins, and plastic forks and spoons are created equal! We recommend Eco-Products for a wide range of biodegradable utensils, plates and more.
5. Carry sandwiches in re-useable lunch wraps. There are a number of products on the market these days, and we especially love the “Lunch Skins” invented by a trio of green moms! If you don’t have one of these cool lunch wraps, then at least cover your sandwiches with the napkins you’ll use instead of in plastic bags.
Now that you’ve planned a green family picnic, be sure to throw in your camera, a frisbee or ball, and don’t forget your sense of humor!
Get out there and enjoy a meal al fresco with the kids. This is what memories are made of!