School is officially out for the summer so it's the perfect time to get outdoors and make the most of the nature all around us. Mike Hardman, from catering and kitchen equipment supplier Alliance Online, shares some brilliant tips for throwing a low-waste picnic in your garden.
Now that the summer holidays are here, you will no doubt be looking for ways to entertain the kids and get them out enjoying the fresh air. If you are lucky enough to have an outside space to call your own, why not throw a picnic party in the garden or further afield?
We're all trying to do our bit to help the environment these days, so you'll want to be mindful when prepping your picnic to try to reduce waste as much as possible. Here, I'll share some tips for planning a low-waste, eco-friendly family picnic in your garden.
Prep some tasty finger foods
The main event at any picnic is always the food, so spend a few hours in the kitchen with the kids prepping a tasty feast you can eat outside. You'll want to serve a variety of finger foods — like mini sandwiches, bite-sized cakes, crudités, and kebab skewers — as this will make it easier for everyone to help themselves, and you won't need to use knives and forks, which reduces waste (and washing up).
Remember, for a low-waste picnic, you'll need to store your foods in re-usable containers or Tupperware until you’re ready to eat. Cling film wrap is not recyclable and so is best avoided — if you need to wrap or cover anything to protect it from flies, try using reusable beeswax wraps instead!
Decorate your garden
For a truly memorable picnic, you'll want to add some colourful and summery decorations to your garden. This will create a festive atmosphere and, if you'll be having some guests over, it's sure to really impress them. Just be careful to use re-usable or eco-friendly decorations wherever you can. These days, you can even buy biodegradable balloons, so the sky is your limit. If you like, you could get the kids involved in making some homemade decorations the day before your picnic. You could try your hand at making some paper chains, bunting, or even a papier-mâché piñata!
Use real crockery to serve your picnic foods
One advantage of having your picnic in the comfort of your own garden is you can use your own crockery, which means there's no need to resort to disposables. This also gives you an opportunity to get really creative with your presentation — why not go all out and serve your sandwiches and cakes on a tiered display stand, like a posh afternoon tea? If you don’t fancy tackling the washing up after your picnic, you can still use disposable plates, cups, and cutlery. Just be sure to find some eco-friendly styles that are compostable, biodegradable, or recyclable. Such items are more easily sourced now, and while reusable cutlery is always the most eco-friendly option, these are the next best thing.