Photo by Massimo Adami | Source: Unsplash

What better manner to celebrate the environment than via the gorgeous outdoors? It represents the perfect opportunity to remind oneself why nature is worth protecting and reconnect with it. We can all make an effort to incorporate “greener” habits into our daily lives. This includes everything from recycling unexpected items and eliminating single-use plastic amongst others to preserve the planet.

Whether taking a scenic group hike or a day trip to the park, the idea of organizing outdoor activities is always exciting. The best companion to any outdoor adventure is a lovely, organized picnic to socialize, relax, and refuel.

1. Ditch Plastic Straws

The pollution of plastic represents a massive global dilemma. In a report from The Last Plastic Straw, a growing movement whose mission is to completely eliminate single-plastic, it was discovered that 500 million plastic straws are in use per day in the United States alone! Be a part of the solution and use sustainable alternatives like SustainaBuddies wheat straws instead.

2. Use Eco-Friendly Plates and Napkins

Many companies offer compostable plates made out of fallen palm leaves in a variety of shapes and sizes. Though finger foods often remove the need for utensils, other companies offer eco-disposable plates and napkins. Chic bamboo plates, in particular, are crafted from biodegradable, dishwasher-safe, and reusable materials. Linen cloth napkins can be washed and tumble-dried after use; often coming in a variety of colors.

3. Beeswax Wrap

Instead of plastic wrap, opt for bee's wrap, a fan-favorite for waste free kitchens and a stellar gift for lovers of cheese as well. Made from cotton coated beeswax, tree resin, and jojoba oil, use it to wrap cheese, snacks, vegetables, and much more. It can be hand-washed with dish soap and cold water. When it's spent, you can compost it. Reusable food can contain anything that plastic can including freshly baked pie, sandwiches, or half-eaten avocados. The majority are composed of beeswax as previously mentioned, but others offer vegan options made from soy wax, coconut oil, jojoba, and cotton-hemp fabric.

4. Sustainable Water Bottles

Whether transporting warm coffee or iced lemonade, it helps to have a reusable bottle able to maintain the temperature of your drink. Certain brands, like Hydro Flask, are considered eco-friendly industry staples for their double-walled insulation painted with signature powder colors and a non-slip rubber sleeve for the base. Free from BPA, easy to clean, and 100% recyclable.

5. Silicone Bags

Another product frequently found in eco-friendly roundups includes stasher bags. Considered a prime alternative to plastic, they are free of BPA as well as phthalates, BPS, lead, and made of platinum silicone. They come in a multitude of sizes from snack to sandwich.

6. Portable Wine Glasses

If planning to bring wine to your picnic, try containing the alcohol inside of eco-friendly tumblers. Thanks to vacuum insulation with double-wall support, drinks can easily stay hot or cold. Most are surprisingly durable to puncture and resistant to rust. Reuse them after washing in the dishwasher at no cost to nature.

7. Storage Containers

Plastic is used, perhaps more than anything humans come into contact with outside of bags, for containers. Pyrex containers, in contrast to plastic, are made of sturdy glass and are typically equipped with glass lids with a silicone-rim. They are often bundled in many different sizes to pack an outdoor meal of any size. Furthermore, food huggers provide functionality and flexibility to seal up half-eaten apples and avocados or covering jars whose lid was lost. They act as a trusted sidekick to reduce food waste. For truly 100% plastic-free storage of the highest durability, stainless steel containers are the perfect option. No matter the size, various companies produce and offer many of these zero waste containers at anywhere from 8 to 26 centimeters. The only issue you'll find here is remembering what you put inside of each one, so consider labeling them before bringing them anywhere.

8. Use natural sunscreen and repellants

Experiencing the outdoors bring with it unwanted encounters with insects and bugs of every type. Many can be irritating as they struggle to claim your meal. You will want to keep the creatures at bay through application of a repellant on the skin or bring an insecticide that can be sprayed on the bugs. Yet, many of these products contain hazardous chemicals when exposed to nature. Opt for natural repellants and skin protection that do less harm to nature.

9. Eat organic

Choose meals for the picnic menu that are less harmful to the environment and your own body. That means non-GMO, organic foods that are plant-based and nutritious. Is the outdoors not the best place to eat salad? Products can be grown at home or acquired from a nearby farmers market which not only helps in going green but also support system that help the planet.

10. Clean the area after the picnic is over

Don't litter. Clean your space of what was used to host your picnic and that of any neighbors if a mess was left behind. There is no need to harm the ecosystem with large amounts of trash left over. Litter will inevitably flow into the neighboring waterways and other regions that cause devastation to wild animals as well as humans. Though it may be tempting to share leftovers with nearby animals, this is also harmful to habitats. Recycling and cleaning up is the best option. of course you should use eco-friendly, biodegradable bin bags!