It’s summer. The sky is blue, the sun is bright, and what better way to enjoy time with friends and family than eating outdoors?
As you pack your sweet summer picnic, you probably see a lot of plastic. Plastic spoons, plastic cups, plastic plates, plastic wrap. While convenient for 30 minutes, these items will never go away. Less than 5% of plastic is recycled (even when put in the right bin), and ends up in oceans and our environment, breaking down into tiny pieces that make their way back to us through our food, water, and surroundings. A recent study of tap water from around the world showed that over 90% of bottled and tap water was contaminated with microplastics - which are so small they are not being filtered out. This spells trouble. While we’re already seeing some effects of harm to sea life, it’s impossible to know what impact this will have on the Earth hundreds of years in the future or even our health. We do know, however, that we have alternative and convenient ways to prevent this.
So if you're ready to stop creating plastic trash caused by single-use disposables; these Five Ways to Enjoy a Plastic-Free Picnic will allow you to have your cake and eat it, without any plastic in sight.
1) Insulated Drink Containers
Whether you’re serving hot tea or fruit flavored ice water at your picnic, Insulated Klean Kanteen containers are incredibly effective at keeping your beverages the perfect temperature for hours! Now you don’t have to worry about carrying a cooler around for keeping drinks cold. With a wide selection of sizes and colors, you’ll find the perfect drink container for your summer picnic.
2) Stainless Steel Food Containers
A stainless steel food container is the best way to store your food without creating plastic trash. And you can throw it in the dishwasher when you’re home! Great for salads, pasta, sandwiches or soup. At our store, you’ll find insulated and uninsulated options, as well as a wide range of sizes.
3) Plastic-Free Food Wrap
Beeswax Wrap is a great, plastic-free, reusable cling film alternative. Wonderful for packing sandwiches, storing your cheese, and we even have some big enough to wrap your baguette. The organic cotton beeswax cloths will last a very long time with proper care, you can use again and again! And once they have completed their lifecycle, they can be composted.
4) Plastic Bag Alternatives
Zip-lock baggies can feel so convenient at times, but what a huge waste! These Stasher bags are a fantastic alternative for food storage. Use them to carry your chopped vegetables or crackers to your picnic. Added bonus - they can be frozen as well as used for cooking, withstanding temperatures up to 400 degrees!
5) Reusable Utensils
These bamboo utensils make an excellent gift and are great for on-the-go eating. No more plastic spoons that last a lifetime in our oceans! Bamboo utensils are sturdy (not going to snap mid-fork-full!) and come with a beautiful pouch to keep them safe and clean in your bag. They’re also compostable so you can dispose of them guilt-free when they are done with their lifecycle.
So go ahead, gather friends for a plastic-free feast! Visit the Ecology Center Store in Berkeley for sustainable products, plastic-free foodware, and great deals. Open Tuesdays - Sundays, 11am - 6pm, at 2530 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley.