If there is one thing that is great about summer it is alfresco dining. Inspired by our recent celebratory picnic for the end of our longest project 'Plastic Free Poplar, we have selected a few tips and tricks we have learnt to make a great picnic. Here's to better weather!
The first step to any good picnic is to have a plan of action.
Our focuses for a sucesssful picnic at SJ HQ are Sustainablity, Joyfulness & Health.
Sustainable for us means eating vegan food, avoiding single-use plastic and creating minimal food waste and sourcing food locally all in a way that is affordable.
Joyful encompasses our easy recipes that dont require too much preparation. Engaging and relaxed atmosphere, considering whether the purpose is to chat with friends, entertain the kids or enjoy a solo lunch in the park.
Healthy involves a creating a balanced diet and understanding the food you eat and sourcing some pesticide-free herbs and veg from our local community gardens.
A Plastic free shopping list
Shop unpackaged where possible, see the above picture of Maud's tesco shop which apaprt form a few stickers is largely free of single use plastics. Shopping mainly for fruit and veg and sauces in reusable glass jars, this shows that it is possible to do some low waste without traveling to expensive refill shops (which are a great option if you can afford them). For some herbs and spices, why not contact your local commity garden and invest a little of your time to get free and pesticide-free bay leaves, thyme, mints, chives, (the common herbs grown in community gardens around us).
A feel-good salad
Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein & fibre, creating a balanced lentil salad avoids the need to put oven on in hot weather.
A sweet snack
A handful of dried fruit or create our quick healthy and delicious energy bites.
A savoury snack
Create traditional Popcorn but jazz it up with lime zest & chilli flakes or nutritional yeast and chopped chives.
A multifunctional basket or bag
Create your own transformable furoshiki bag so that you can pick up and go without the labourious packing at the end by changing it into a makeshift table mat for your food. When you are finished just knot back up and leave. (Just make sure to bring your *non-plastic* rubbish with you!)
A warm flask of tea
Create your own tea mixes dependant on your mood. Create relaxing mixes with lavendar, camomile and lime leaves or make more lively mixes with left over fruit peels. See our Fruit peels tea for a warming brew.
A cold drink
Make a simple lemon infused drink, with just slices of lemons, water, a handful of mint a pinch of salt and syrup to the taste. You can also try cold drinks with other kitchen cupboard ingredients like cucumber and mint herbal infused water, diy cordial.
A load of reusable wet wipes
When traveling to your favourite picnic spot you may come into contact with all kinds of grime, especially if you live in a busy city like London. Author of the Sunday Times bestseller 'Green Living Made Easy', Nancy Birtwhistle shows you how to fashion your own reusable wet wipes in a handy little tupperware. You can also swap paper tissues or napkins for reusable fabric handkerchiefs or cloths, upcycled from old worn clothes.
A blanket & other essentials from home
Create a home from home. Dont forget to bring a blanket or a second hand table cloth. Your own cutlery, cups, plates and reusable water bottle and of course tupperware/jars. Don't buy new, just bring from home.
The Sunny Jar Team x