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Top tips for a Sustainable Picnic by Vegan at Tiff's

The summer months are not complete without a picnic in nature with your favourite foods. Whether you’re dining in the park, at the beach or on a camping trip, everything tastes better when eating al fresco! You can also get that feel-good factor by planning a sustainable soiree and protecting the great outdoors.

Here’s Tiffany Shirley's top tips on how to pack and serve your picnic to minimise environmental impact.

Tiffany Shirley from Vegan at Tiff's shares their top tips on how to dine al fresco while protecting the great outdoors.

Avoid Disposables – Reuse your reusables!

My number one tip is to use what you already have. Chances are, you’ll have a lot of what you need at home - plus, it’s cheaper in the long run! Disposable products create waste in landfills, so bring your reusable cups, plates, cutlery, straws and picnic baskets. Or why not serve finger foods and avoid the need for plates or cutlery altogether. If using your own items isn’t an option or you are in the market for some new picnicware, there are great sustainable items available, consider shopping for reusable or biodegradable products.

Sustainable Containers – Get creative

When you Google ‘zero waste’, you’re likely to be greeted with images of glass containers. But you don’t need to buy glass containers if you don’t already have some. Why not get creative with jars and containers that you already have around the house. Of course, use the plastic containers that you already own. But if you’ve got an old jam jar? Clean it. Plastic takeaway container? Use it. Anything that you can transport your food in safely, works.

Don’t Be Clingy - Ditch cling film (& tin foil)

Cling film is typically used once before being sent to landfill, and you cannot recycle it. Tin foil is also tricky, as once it comes into contact with food, it’s also non-recyclable. These items will only add to the carbon footprint of your picnic. There are reusable alternatives available from paper sandwich bags to plastic free and biodegradable wax wraps.

Get Loose – Minimise the packaging

Aim to buy loose fruit and vegetables to avoid plastic waste. You can buy lots of loose products in supermarkets, farmers markets and zero-waste stores. Also, try to plan how you’ll store your leftovers safely so that nothing goes to waste, and they can be eaten later – who wants to start cooking when they get home anyway!?

Travel Sustainably – Did someone say road trip?

Reduce your carbon footprint by choosing a picnic location in your local area, so that you can walk, cycle, or use public transport. If that's not possible, use the fewest number of vehicles by car sharing with friends – it always helps with parking!

Take Your Litter Home - Leave it how you found it

Leave the picnic area how you found it and take your rubbish and belongings with you. Locate bins in the surrounding area, but we know these are often overflowing on warmer days. Litter can find its way around local areas and waterways causing harm to animals. Plus, some human foods can affect animals health and wellbeing, so take it home with you and dispose of it appropriately.

Try Plant-Based – Eating for the environment

Studies have shown that cutting meat and dairy from your diet can reduce your carbon, water and ecological footprints. Your picnic can be just as extravagant, and you won’t need to compromise with all the delicious substitutes. Quorn Vegan Smoky Ham Free Slices, Quorn Vegan Chicken Free Slices or Quorn Vegan Pepperoni Slices anyone!?

Now you’ve planned your sustainable picnic, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your goodies in the (hopefully) sunny weather. The environment is beautiful, let's keep it that way.

For more great picnic recipes and tips, visit our Summer recipe and ideas page here.

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