One of our favourite ways to enjoy the beautiful summer weather we've been having recently is to put together a delicious picnic! And what better reason to celebrate than the fact that July is officially Picnic Month! Picnics although lots of fun, can often cause a lot of unnecessary waste as we buy pre-packaged foods, disposable cups, plates and cutlery which are often made of single use plastics. But an ethical, sustainable picnic may be much more easily achieved than you think! With a little bit of preparation, there is no need for excessive waste or disposable plastics, and you can have a beautiful, guilt-free picnic instead.
One of our most important picnic essentials is, of course, the basket! Our Ghanaian Bolga Baskets are perfect for carrying all of your delicious food, and the thick straw that they are hand woven from means that they are incredibly hard-wearing. Our top pick is this beautiful Large 'Red Haze' basket, with plenty of space for carrying all your summer picnic essentials. Speaking of essentials, with the British summer weather hitting the heights that it has been, we think a fan is pretty essential! Our Ghanaian Fan Collection is ideal for those scorching summer days, and will look equally as lovely hung up on your walls as decor during the cooler months. We recommend the Wax Cotton Fan in 'Rainbow Salt Lake' as it folds up nice and compact to fit in almost any bag and the pretty colour palette is sure to brighten your day.
In place of disposable or single-use cutlery, we recommend either just bringing some normal table cutlery along from home or finding some good, reusable cutlery sets. Our Hand Carved Olive Wood Picnic Set comes with everything you will need to enjoy your picnic, without the need for single-use plastics. Made in Nairobi, our picnic sets are hand carved by our friend Zephania and his small team from sustainably sourced wild olive wood, alongside pretty bone accents that are a bi-product of the farming industry. These reusable picnic sets are a great investment as they are small and lightweight enough to carry around in a handbag or pocket, meaning they are ideal for those of us trying to live a lower-waste lifestyle. Instead of paper or plastic plates that will get thrown away, we suggest reusable bamboo plates instead as they are just as lightweight. Many modern bamboo dish sets are dishwasher safe and fully recyclable once they have reached the end of their life cycle, making them the perfect plastic alternative.
When it comes to packing your food to go, there are plenty of options available! We recommend trying to avoid plastic packaging and tubs as much as possible, and instead use more environmentally friendly alternatives. For home-prepared foods, we love to use metal or glass food containers. Traditional tiffin boxes are fairly readily available and as they are made from stainless steel they are usually safe to put in the fridge, freezer and oven, meaning you can get all your picnic food prep out of the way and have your food ready to go. We also love using beeswax and soy wax wraps in place of cling film or tin foil for packing food. BeeBee & Leaf have a huge range of colourful, British-made beeswax and vegan wax reusable wraps to keep your food fresh. We think the Mixed Size Pack is perfect for picnics, and we particularly love the 'Tropical Collection' design, which also happens to be vegan-friendly!
We hope you enjoyed reading all about our ethical summer picnic essentials! We think we'll be packing ourselves a fabulous beach-side picnic very soon. What's your favourite food to take to a picnic? Let us know, we would love to try out some new recipes. If you are looking for something tasty to cook up, have a look at our previous Journal post with Zoe Arevalo of Satio.Food. We hope you are all enjoying the sun and remember to stay safe.