Hey! I'm Emma, I'm from Sheffield and I am in my third year studying law here at UoL! I am a huge fan of all animals, a good movie marathon, and cooking all my favourite food. I'm also super lucky…
Now that summer is here and the sun is shining (mostly!), what better way to spend time with friends and family than by having a picnic outdoors?
Follow these tips to make your next picnic environmentally friendly whilst keeping it fun, and enjoyable!
1. Use reusable plates, cutlery and cups
An easy step to start your environmentally friendly picnic is by using reusable plates, cutlery and cups.
You could either bring some normal ones from home, or you could buy yourself a proper picnic set. At the moment these are super easy to come across in most supermarkets and shops, in a range of different styles and prices. I found this super affordable option on Amazon which is on offer at just £7.99 and has a huge 31 pieces included! – what’s not to love?!
Don’t forget to take yourself some reusable straws too!
2. Prepare your own food
Although ordering food from a takeaway or buying pre-packed food from the supermarket seems like the easier option, preparing your own food is a fun way of making your picnic into more of a ‘day out’, and also helps to make it more environmentally friendly.
Head to a shop or to the market in Lincoln centre and get fresh produce to make the food for your picnic from scratch. This is the most eco-friendly way of having a picnic as the packaging on supermarket food is designed to keep produce fresh but includes plastic, which isn’t good for the environment.
3. Stay local
There are lots of lovely places in and around Lincoln to go for a picnic in! And most are within walking distance of campus!
Protect the environment by avoiding travelling to locations for a picnic in a car. If you don’t fancy the walk, pop your food and picnic things into a rucksack and head over to the Student Union to hire a bike! More information about the SU cycle hire can be found here!
Don’t forget to tidy up after you’ve finished your picnic!
4. Respect your surroundings
Sit somewhere that you can avoid disturbing any wildlife e.g. avoid patches of flowers on the grass where bees could be.
If you are having a picnic on West Common, don’t forget to sit as far away from the horses as possible. In case the horses do approach you be sure to keep any food and wrappers in a secure bag. Feeding horses without the owner’s consent is very dangerous, even if it seems like you are being kind, so avoid doing this at all times!
Another thing to consider is that as fun as having a BBQ picnic is, disposable BBQs are really bad for the environment. They cannot be recycled, the risk of fire is very high when using them, it is very easy to scorch grass if they are not placed on the right surface and the charcoal which they contain is usually unsustainably sourced.
5. Recycle anything which can’t be reused
If you do decide to purchase some pre-packed goods from supermarkets, remember to take all your rubbish home and put it in the correct type of bin. Aim to buy packaging which can be recycled if you can’t buy a product ‘loose’ from a shop.
It is always best to get things that are reuseable before starting to buy things that must be recycled.
Also remember, if you are pre-preparing your food for a picnic, use tupperware boxes to transport your food, rather than clingfilm or plastic sandwich bags as these can’t be recycled!
Being environmentally friendly is so important and it takes every single person to do their bit to protect the planet. Next time you head out for a picnic, remember to follow these tips to make your trip out more environmentally friendly!