Draft: Plastic Free Picnic

This July I'm promoting #plasticfreejuly, an international campaign to shed light on single use plastic and our disposable lifestyle. 'Choose to Refuse' single use plastic in July and read more about the organisation here.
 
To kick things off I launched a giveaway worth over £60 containing essentials for a #Plasticfreepicnic including bamboo cutlery and pouch, stainless steel lunch box, hammam towel and string bag. Not only are these items perfect for a picnic, you can use them every single day.
I've pulled together some of my favourite foods and some ideas to get you inspired and help you towards a plastic free picnic. Its unrealistic to think you going to be zero waste, ever, but here's to making a few changes towards low waste. every single changed does make a difference, especially when it comes to food as we eat it every single day so it's immediately obvious when your bin is not overflowing with packaging after your weekly shop.
 
Food
 
There are so many things you can make in advance for a plastic free picnic. The first thing is to reduce packaging on your weekly shop (check out my zero waste grocery shopping tips here). Once you have some gorgeous and fresh groceries, you're well on your way to a plastic free picnic.
 
How about making the following:
  • Homemade hummus - It's super simple to make and will last a whole SEVEN days in the fridge which is about 3x longer than shop bought. Check out a solid recipe here. The trick is to blend the tahini and oil first. (Just ignore the bit about peeling off the membranes first!). Mix it up by adding extra flavour such as caramelised onion, grilled aubergine, roasted peppers or sun dried tomatoes.
  • Homemade wraps/pittas - 100g flour, 60ml luke warm water & salt. Mix it up, knead for 2 mins, separate into four and roll out into wraps or pittas. Fry in a little oil for 2 mins each side. IT IS THAT SIMPLE!
  • Easy fresh bread/rolls - If you can buy fresh unpackaged bread, even better, otherwise pick up some bread mix in paper bags (in the flour section). All you have to do is add water, knead, let it rise, shape into bread or rolls and pop in the oven. Instructions are on the side and there is nothing better than freshly made warm bread.
  • Coleslaw - Chop up cabbage, carrot and red onion and simply mix in some vegan mayo. My favourite is veganaise. Don't forget to season.
  • Potato salad - I mix cooked new potatoes with veganaise and chives if I have some to hand. Don't forget to season.
  • Guacamole - Mashed avocado with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. I like adding chopped up cherry tomatoes to mine too.
  • Roasted chickpeas - Drain a can of chickpeas, pat dry with a towel, sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika and roast in the over for 30 mins.
  • Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate - I'm hoping this one is self explanatory.
I don't know about you but I haven't got time to make absolutely everything from scratch. Some good shop bought items are:
  • Linda McCartney sausage rolls (the ones in cardboard packaging). Cook them in advance and they'll go down a treat. Linda has a great range of vegan frozen items in cardboard.
  • Check out what dips are available in glass jars (usually in the sauces aisle). I found an amazing roasted red pepper dip by Pelagonia last week and now I'm addicted.
  • Olives, sun dried tomotoes and the like in glass jars (or try taking your own container to the deli counter)
Packaging
 
I've put some photos below of my favourite items to pack, cover, carry and keep your food fresh and all of them are available on my store :)
 
Reusable water bottles
50 BILLION water bottles are bought each year globally - that's one million every minute!!!!! and over 80% end up in landfill. Demand is expected to increase by another 20% by 2021 which is only a few years away. If you want to buy one reusable item today, make it a reusable water bottle. Let's change the statistics and show there is no demand for single use water and drinks bottles.
 
Reusable bags
500 BILLION plastic bags are used every year globally and they take over 500 years to break down. In the UK, our consumption has decreased by 83% with the 5p bag charge which is a great step but by carrying a reusable bag with you every day means you won't get caught out. Out market string bags hold up to 40kg too, not that I could carry around 40kg on my shoulder!
 
Stainless Steel Lunchboxes
Firstly, they look great which means I definitely take more care of them. Gone are the days or rummaging around the cupboard for a missing lid. Food grade and super tough, they are more expensive than plastic, but buy once and buy to last.
 
Food wraps
The eco sandwich wraps and soy wax wraps are a newer swap for me and I'm so glad I've found them. I had already swapped from cling film (which isn't recyclable) to tin foil and tried to reuse it as much as I could, but I still thought I could do better. That's where these wraps come in. I ran out of tin foil probably three months ago and haven't purchased any since. I use soy was wraps instead of beeswax as they are vegan - they are perfect for keeping food fresh in the fridge. The eco sandwich wrap, which is wipe clean and machine washable, is perfect for wrapping your sandwiches, rolls etc on to go.
 
Reusable cutlery
My FAVOURITE on-the-go item. Bamboo cutlery in a handmade pouch available in a gorgeous selection of fabrics with a stainless steel straw and cleaner. I think it's such a waste of raw materials to make single use cutlery (even if it's compostable) to be used for only five minutes and then thrown away. Keep the cutlery pouch in your bag wherever you go so you're always ready to eat plastic free.
 
 
I hope my post has inspired you to get outside and get picknicking. Trying to reduce plastic shouldn't stop you doing every day things, it just takes a little more thought but after a while will become habit.
 
With this weather, what are you waiting for?!
 
Tash x

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