Plan a sustainable picnic

Summer 2019 picnic collection

Summer is the season for picnics. From a golden sandy beach to the shade of your favourite tree, outdoor dining dishes up the feel-good factor. Heighten the happiness this summer by making your picnic a more sustainable soiree. From zero waste to plastic free, here’s how to throw the perfect picnic for an alfresco affair that’s light on your pocket and the environment.

What’s on the menu?

It's time to taste the island. This part of the world boasts some of the finest and freshest ingredients, so eat local and eat seasonal. Not only will it taste better and prove healthier but it will help reduce your food miles.

If you're picnic is a last-minute call, raid the fridge and make the most of your leftovers. As you strike it lucky, potluck-style you will be helping to reduce food waste. It’s amazing what you can conjure up with just a few ingredients, and whatever way you cut it, a simple set of sandwiches or pasta salad always make tasty treats on the go.

Don't overlook those forgotten fruits at the bottom of a punnet. Strawberries don't just partner perfectly with cream, they taste great in salads too. Use them to make up a batch of homemade strawberry jam, and you'll be ready to pack another perfect picnic snack. 

Add to the bounty and adventure of your day out by foraging for your own finds - it’s a great way to work up an appetite.

Delivery cost

Having slaved over the preparation of your fabulous feast, no one wants to open the picnic box to discover spillages. Transport your gourmet delights securely by ditching the cling film and opting for reusable containers.

Stylish service 

Discarded straight after eating, disposable plates and cutlery generate unnecessary waste, and are actually difficult to recycle. Save yourself the cost, and the environment by going BYO  - that means Bringing Your Own plates, bowls and cutlery of course! Let's face it, everyone struggles to eat on a paper plate in the sea breeze anyway. Using your own cloth napkins rather than paper ones will reduce your waste further. Alongside your own bag and picnic blanket, it will all look better in your photos. Invest in a picnic pack now and get more value from it - plus you’ll be ready for impromptu picnics at any time. Browse our online shop to find the perfect picnic items.

Enjoy a picnic with a majestic view of the Mourne Mountains
Picnic at Murlough National Nature Reserve
Enjoy a picnic with a majestic view of the Mourne Mountains

Stay hot by being cool

Purchasing drinks on a day out can really add up. Using reusable insulated stainless-steel bottles will keep your water cool and your coffee hot. You won’t get dehydrated or have to throw away disposable bottles and cups.

Road Trip

Did someone say road trip? If you’re heading away with extended family and friends, car share where possible. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint but it will ease parking problems - and you can have a good natter on the journey too. If you're not travelling too far, pack a picnic into the pannier rack on your bike and work up an appetite by cycling to your destination. 

Eyes bigger than your…

We’ve all done it - overpacked and now there's lots of leftovers. Thanks to the fact you packed reusable containers, you're in the perfect position to take home what you didn’t use. Who wants to start cooking when you get home any way. Though sharing leftover food with nearby animals might seem tempting, leaving items like banana skins, orange peels and nut shells isn't an environmentally friendly action. They don't biodegrade as quickly as you think or serve as a safe food source for wildlife. Much cooler temperatures in upland areas can actually preserve these items for over 2 years. When packing your picnic, pop in a compostable bag and take home these items to dispose in your brown bin. This is your Summer School education for the kids, as it makes a great lesson to teach them about caring for the environment and wildlife in a safe and healthy way.

Bon appétit

Whether it is the views, the feeling of being in the wild, the closeness to nature – or simply the food you eat on your picnic, enjoy your picnic. For little ones, picnics are no.9 on our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ so make sure they tick it off their list to add to the adventure of your day out.