How to Make Your Picnic Environmentally Friendly

Happy (almost) summer! Man, have we had some beautiful days here in NC. It makes you just want to head outside with a picnic, sprawl out in the grass and enjoy the sunshine. There’s warm sun on your face, cool grass under your feet, and a light breeze in the air. You pull out your picnic basket, and it’s full of…trash? Plastic straws, cups, and forks. Paper napkins and plates. Sandwiches, wrapped up in plastic wrap or single-use zip-top bags. But what are you going to do? You can’t exactly bring fine china to the park. Are disposable paper products your only option? Should you just stay at home?

Fear not, my environmentally-conscious friends, someone else has been there before you! There are many options out there so that you can have an easy clean-up, and eco-friendly picnics all summer long.

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1. There has been a huge movement this year to reduce straw usage. Of course, you may choose to simply go without, but I personally love straws. This reusable straw is the perfect solution! It even comes with 2 cleaning brushes.

2. A reusable water bottle is a great thing to have for your day-to-day life. But for your picnic, you might want to consider this one, because in addition to being a great option for H20, it can also hold an entire (750mL) bottle of wine.

3. Stainless steel wine glasses are the perfect balance of reusable and durable. You’ll love these sets of dishwasher safe, stemless wine glasses.

4. Reusable, collapsible cups are better than boring old solo cups. They’re reusable AND pack down nice and small, making them perfect for your picnic, camping, or traveling.

5. If you don’t want to take your metal utensils but are trying to avoid disposable items, these camping reusable utensils are for you. They are a 3-in-1 fork, knife, and spoon so they’ll work for all of your needs without taking up much space. Bonus!

6. Cloth napkins are not just for grandma’s fancy Christmas dinner. These “paperless towels”are durable, washable, and quick drying. You won’t miss paper napkins or paper towels.

7. Of course you can use normal reusable plastic plates for your eco-friendly picnic. But if you’re looking for an alternative, compostable plates are super cool. These are microwave and hot/cold food safe.  They may be a one-time use item, but you can put them into the compost instead of the landfill. Win!

8. Plastic wrap and baggies are such a waste. Try out this hand-washable, beeswax cloth instead. It comes with 3 different sized wraps for sealing up your fruits, veggies, or sandwiches and can also be used to cover a bowl of your favorite snacks. Once you’re done with it for good (and remember, you can wash it again and again) it’s even compostable.

9. If you have any liquid-y dishes to bring on your picnic, these mason jars are a trendy and eco-friendly vessel. Fill them up with soups, sauces, or any other messy dishes for your picnic, then wash and use them again and again.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to reduce your waste and invest in some nifty products for this summer’s outdoor activities such as picnics or camping. Do you have any ideas for having an eco-friendly picnic? How do you reduce waste? Let me know in the comments below! Did you like this post? Share via Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

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10 Tips for Adulting in Your 20s

Do you struggle with adulting?  Do you find yourself failing hard at getting your sh*t together on a regular basis?  It is I, a fellow failing adult, here to bring you advice for cleaning your life up, one step at a time!

  1. Exercise

    WorkoutbitmojiUgh, exercising sucks. I am not an athletic person, but putting in the smallest effort to build an exercise routine now will be much easier than when you’re 40 and have 2 kids. Plus, you’re much more likely to stick with the habits you build now.

  2. Stop drinking like you did in college.

    DrinkingSeriously, stop. Your body can’t take that abuse forever, and neither can your wallet. (If you find you are unable to reduce your drinking, please consider speaking with an addiction counselor.)

  3. Stop sleeping until noon

    SleeptilnoonHow much harder is it to get up at 6AM on Monday when you slept until noon on Sunday? I’m not saying you should get up at 6 every day, but it’s good to get your day started in the AM.

  4. Cook

    cookingbitmoji

    Eating McDonald’s 5 nights a week might be easy on the wallet, but your metabolism will not stay strong forever. The eating habits you form now will follow you for the rest of your life. There are tons of easy recipes that are cheaper and healthier than eating fast food or takeout all the time.

  5. Pay your bills on time

    stress_and_enviroment

    I have this bad habit of leaving unopened mail on my coffee table. My rent, car insurance, etc are all paid automatically, so most of my mail is junk. Unfortunately, my annual car tax ended up in The Pile. My state sends it out 3 months early, I believe, and I ended up paying fees because I paid it a few weeks late. It’s not that I didn’t know about it, it’s not that I didn’t have the money, I just forgot. Don’t do this, y’all. It’s completely avoidable.

  6. Stick to a budget

    Budget.jpg

    You’ll never be able to afford to travel or buy a new car or start your own business or pay for your wedding; whatever you want in life you have to save money to do it.  You can’t save money if you don’t know where you’re spending it.  Build and stick to a monthly budget!  Figure out what your expenses are and

  7. Drop your toxic friends

    ToxicFriendsByebyeDrop ‘em. You don’t need the negativity, you don’t need the stress, you don’t need them wasting your damn time. Drop, drop, drop.

  8. Try new things

    HOBBIES-ARE-HEALTHY.jpg

    Have new experiences; try a new hobby, travel, learn to play an instrument or sport, meet new people, or become active in your community.  Does your community have a community center?  Take a weekly pottery class!  Are you passionate about minority rights, veterans, refugees, or human trafficking?  Find activist groups in your community!

  9. Organize your home

    letsgetorganizedYou’ll be happier and more productive if you get your house/apartment all neat and tidy.  Say goodbye to messy cabinets and hello to your new, beautiful, organized life.

  10. Travel.

    20171215_133251_HDRMeet new people, learn new things, become a more worldly person. I can’t stress enough how important it is to travel in your twenties. It will shape who you are and how you view the world. You’ll meet so many different people from so many different places who think differently than you do, who experience the world differently than you do.

Are there any tips you would add?  Share them in the comments below!  If you liked this post, be sure to hit the subscribe button, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and keep following me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Sleep image: https://thedailytripblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/insomnia-smoke-alarm-chinese-water-torture/
Bills image: http://www.healthreviser.com/content/environment-changes-manage-your-stress
Budget image: http://ww2.cfo.com/budgeting/2016/08/special-report-budgeting-plannings-changing-world/
Hobbies: https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-activities/hobbies-are-healthy/

Learning a Language Part 1/3: How to Pick A Language

Welcome to the first installment of a new summer series: Learning a New Language from our guest author, David Anthony.  David is a senior at North Carolina Central University, a novice computer programmer, rock-climber, and huge language nerd.  This series will explore the how-tos of learning a new language on your own, no college courses required.  The first of three articles will focus on choosing the right language for you.  Look out for new installments on the last Sunday of every month. Enjoy!

PART 1:

Want to know what you can do right now that will make you richer, smarter, and sexier? Fluently speaking a foreign language! I know a lot of millennials and travelers dream of being able to order in a Mexican restaurant in perfect Spanish, or debate Descartes in flawless French. While I can’t promise those results, this guide should help you get started on the path to fluency much faster than traditional methods. Nothing I’m mentioning is voodoo or snake oil, but it’s not obvious to most people when they’re trying to learn a foreign language. It sure wasn’t to me when I first started learning.

My name’s David, and I’ve been studying foreign languages for close to 9 years now. I’ve taken language classes in high school, as well as studying on my own using various methods. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m also on my way to India with the Critical Language Scholarship. In terms of languages I know in descending order: English is my native language; I’m pretty comfortable in Swedish and Norwegian, conversational in German, and I used to be conversational in Russian and Serbian, although those have atrophied quite a bit. I’ve also casually studied at least a dozen others, including Urdu, Japanese, and Egyptian Arabic. Perhaps not an impressive list from a polyglot standpoint, but enough that I feel qualified to write up this 101 style how to guide.

So, I think the first question that needs to be answered is “Which language should I learn?” The answer: whichever one you are passionate about. Don’t get swept up in whatever “sounds beautiful” or will be most useful. The most useful language is the one you know well. Say you want to learn a language so you can be more competitive for a job in business. Chinese, Hindi, and German are all obvious ones that come to mind. But what if none of those interest you? What if you’re really interested in learning about Cambodian culture, and would rather study Khmer instead? That’s totally okay. If you’re truly passionate about it, you’ll make quick strides and will develop fluency much more quickly. Fluent Khmer is better than phrasebook Chinese on your resume. The same rule applies if you’re just learning for personal reasons. When you learn a language, you’re really learning a culture. Languages don’t exist in a vacuum. Find a specific, concrete reason to learn a language. Don’t be discouraged if it’s a smaller language. Using the Khmer example from earlier (and I’m betting you probably didn’t even know Khmer was a language), Khmer has 16 million native speakers. Even though it’s a “small” language, there’s absolutely no way you’ll ever run out of people to talk to. If you’re willing to work hard enough, any language is an attainable goal.

Next post, I’ll dig deeper into some resources you can use to get started. In the future, I’ll also start talking about some tactics for learning quickly. Hope you enjoyed the post!

Thanks for reading! Are you multilingual? What made you decide to learn another language? Tell us about it in the comments below! Did you enjoy this post? Share it via Facebook or Twitter. And, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!