Any number of occasions call for a picnic from an impromptu day out at the beach to family reunions. And, in places like San Diego, weather permits outdoor picnics to happen year-round. We’ve made a better effort this year to get out and picnic because it’s cost-effective, can be good for the environment and kids love it.
However, when dining in the great outdoors, try to make your picnic eco-friendly. The good news is that it’s easy and sponsor of this post, Finish, would like me to share tips for doing just that.
See also: 7 Places to Picnic in San Diego
1. Don’t Drive Too Far
Picnicking close to home keeps you from burning too much fuel by driving. Any green space, the beach (our favorite picnic spot) or even the comfort of your own backyard will do for a fun family picnic the kids will love.
2. Use Reusable Picnic Dishes and Flatware
Cut down on waste and expense by opting for reusable dishes and flatware. Picnic sets store utensils and provide an easy way to carry gear back and forth to your chosen site. Ours even came with a wine opener.
3. Take Trash With You
The goal of any picnic should be to leave little to no footprint behind after you’re finished. Take all of your trash and belongings with you, if no recycling and trash cans are on site. Try challenging your family to plan so that nothing goes in the trash. Litter can contaminate water, harm wildlife and is often not biodegradable.
4. Make Sure Kids and Pets Play Responsibly
Keep an eye out for wildlife to make sure that the dog isn’t chasing bunnies or disturbing birds. The same goes for kids. Be mindful of traversing through vegetation as not to crush or damage it.
5. Use Your Own Produce
Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs is a fantastic way to green your home in addition to buying local, organic produce to support sustainable farming while cutting down greenhouse gas emissions during long transit times. Try to prepare your picnic using these low footprint ingredients.
6. Make Sure Bug Repellents and Sunscreens Contain Natural Products
Especially if swimming is a planned activity to compliment your picnic, such as at the beach or a lake, wear natural sunscreen and skin protection is less harmful to marine life.
7. Plan a Lesson Geared Toward Your Setting
Bring the binoculars if birdwatching is an option. Or, have the kids create a journal entry around what they see. Bring cool leaves home to press. Figure out a way to integrate your surroundings into a fun nature lesson.
Have any leftover (clean) ice or water that you can’t take with you? Use it to water nearby plants. Of course, then recycle any plastics, soda cans and the like to give them a second life.
Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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