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!

Simple Tips for Eating Healthier in 2018

This is not a diet. It’s not an exercise routine or a total lifestyle change. These are some simple tips and substitutions to help you make healthier choices in 2018.

  1. Drink water
    Staying hydrated will make you feel better and keep your body running smoothly.  If you need a little push try out this bottle which keeps you on track to drink water throughout the day.
  2. Drink black coffee or add a splash of milk instead of going to starbucks
    If you’re a coffee drinker who loves lattes and fraps but wants to be healthier in the new year, consider brewing your own black coffee at home. Coffee has almost no calories, so if you drink it black or add just a splash of milk or hint of sugar, you’ll be reducing your caloric intake (not to mention fat and sugar) by a lot. A small coffee house drink can have 330+ calories!
  3. Be conscious of your protein and vegetable consumption.
    I make sure to have at least one-two servings of each every day. Even if it doesn’t seem to go together. For example: a bowl of black beans as a side for protein with cheese pizza.
  4. Try squash/zucchini spaghetti
    Cut down on carbs by replacing pasta with spiralized veggies.
  5. Make your own sauces or use spice blends instead
    Pinterest has a ton of ideas for healthier pasta sauces/dishes. My favorite is pasta tossed with olive oil, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and parsley.
  6. Switch to sugar-free energy drinks
    They’re out there! Energy drinks have a ton of sugar. If you drink energy drinks and want to reduce your sugar intake, try out the sugar-free versions.
  7. Limit to one soda a week.
    Moderation is key. Let yourself have treats, but know that it’s not an everyday thing. You’ll enjoy it more, and you’re reducing your caloric and sugar intake. Replace the sodas you were drinking with water and you’re killing two birds with one stone.
  8. Diet soda
    See “sugar-free energy drinks” above. Reduce your sugar intake by going diet.

Whatever your bad habit is, find a way to reduce it until it’s gone. For example, my bad habit is eating sweets every night. My husband and I eat supper early, around 5-6pm, so I’m usually hungry again in the evening before bed. For a while, I’ve had a glass of milk and some cookies, candy, or brownies before bed. I’m trying to eat a cup of yogurt (I like the Chobani “flip” greek yogurt) and a glass of water 1-2 times a week instead of sugary snacks. As I get used to that, I’ll try to do it 2-3 times a week, then 3-4, until my regular late-night snack is yogurt instead of cookies.

You know what you shouldn’t eat. With a slow reduction, you can eliminate the things you want to from your diet, and add in the good stuff. Good luck!

Did you enjoy this post? What do you do to stay healthy? Leave a comment below. Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and, as always, follow me here on WordPress for more GREAT content like this!

Disclaimer: if you follow the Amazon link in the body of this post and make purchases through them, I will receive a small compensation from Amazon. This compensation comes from Amazon, not from you, and the price you see through my links is the same as the price you would see otherwise.

Water bottle with time marker: http://amzn.to/2sENn4Z

Photo credit, plus a great article from the CDC about food safety: https://www.cdc.gov/features/foodsafetyquiz/index.html