If you like to picnic in nature, chances are that you want nature to hang around for a bit longer. Here, we gathered 6 easy tips that’ll make your picnic excursion more sustainable.
Tip #1: Use the power of physics
Forget cooling units! Their production only wastes resources and space in your picnic basket. They’re a plastic container with frozen water inside for God’s sake! Instead, fill re-useable plastic bottles to two-thirds with the beverage of your choice and put it in the freezer the night before the feast. On the way to the picnic, the drink liquefies again, while simultaneously cooling your food, making everything perfectly chilled when you arrive.
Tip #2: Say no to plastic
We absolutely overdid it with our excessive use of plastic in the last few decades – plastic comes with almost every bit of food we consume. And let’s not even mention the bottled water industry. Plus plastic bottles and containers are known to release hormones into the food and drink which they contain. Still, according to Plastics Europe, over 288 million tonnes of plastic was globally produced in 2012 alone. Make sure you’re using glass bottles and containers as often as possible. You can hold on to them for a very long time – and in the end, glass is almost endlessly recyclable. Plus mason jars make for a perfect “bowl” for chilled soups or iced teas. Go one step further and buy your ingredients for the picnic package-free at a market.
Tip #3: Invest in light dishes
Photo courtesy of re-modern
There’s a reason why so many people use picnic dishes made out of plastic or carton (coated with plastic): it’s light and worry-free, you just use it and put it in the next bin. But that also means we’re using up loads and loads of resources for a mere 20 minutes of eating before disposing of it. Rather invest in dishes that are equally light but sustainable, for example dishes made from organic bamboo or corn starch. I use the bamboo ones myself, they’re robust as hell, and you can even put them in the dishwasher. Plus they look fantabulous and are a great conversation starter. (If you’re into talking with your mouth full)
Pro tip: Get the colourful bamboo dishes by Ekobo at Herr und Frau Klein, Kirchengasse 7, 1070 or at MAKdesignshop, Stubenring 5, 1010.
Tip #4: Hands off of aluminium!
Photo courtesy of comeundone
As latest scientific findings show, aluminum is poisonous and is even suspected to be carcinogenic. So instead of covering your fresh summer salads with aluminum foil, switch to sandwich paper. And use glass containers for your salads. Just think of all the money you’re going to save! Oh – And check the contents lists of your sun screen; they love to put aluminum in there as well.
Tip #5: Eat more veggies
Photo coutesy of Niina
This one might sound like something your mother would tell us, but it makes perfect sense if you think about it from the sustainable angle. Global meat consumption is responsible for 51 % of our overall CO2 emission. In European conditions, producing one kilogram of beef takes over 20 kilograms of CO2 emissions. On the other hand, producing one kilogram of tofu needs only 3,8 kilograms of CO2 emissions. Doing the math is easy, so why not turn vegetarian once in a while this summer? Nature and its creatures will love you for it.
Pro tip: At the Brunnenmarkt, you can get your veggies cheaper in the evening.
Tip #6: Give bees a chance
We already talked about it here, we desperately need the bees to survive. So whenever a bee visits you during your picnic, be sure to relax. Don’t shoo them away, and please don’t kill them. Bees don’t care for our food, the only thing they’re dealing in is pollen and nectar. The bee will probably rest a bit on your picnic blanket and will be on her way again in no-time. Wasps are a different story: their vision is very bad and flying around you is the only way for a wasp to fully eye you. Still, don’t wave your arms and certainly don’t blow at them, since your warm breath means only one thing to them: immediate attack of an enemy! They’ll then secrete an emergency hormone, and you’ll be visited by hundreds of other wasps shortly after. Just let them have a look at your food, check every bite before putting it into your mouth and you’ll be good.