Summer is the best time for picnics. The main rule is to leave the forest clearing clean after rest. But there are seven more ways to make a picnic more sustainable. Before going on a picnic we suggest looking for ways to make it eco. There are stores like WAY&FARER that offer eco-friendly items for picnics and nature outings.
Of course, if you are going to rest in a hard-to-reach place, remote from human habitats, then the use of a personal car cannot be avoided. If the resting place is located near the village, then it is better to get to the picnic meadow by bicycle or by public transport. This will help reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted by cars. Indeed, about 1.1 liters of gasoline are consumed per 10 kilometers, and this is 2.7 kilograms of greenhouse emissions. At the same time, an electric train or a bicycle will help to avoid this negative impact on nature, and a walk from a stop to a place of rest will wake up your appetite and create a good mood.
Do not use plastic utensils for picnics. Lovers of outdoor recreation should get themselves reusable devices: metal, wooden or plastic glasses, and spoons. They are light and strong enough that you can pack them in any part of the backpack. There are other alternatives to plastic – manufacturers, including domestic ones, offer dishes made from dough, corn, and other food products.
Not only dishes should be eco-friendly: instead of disposable napkins, give preference to reusable cloth ones – they can be taken home, washed, and reused. Use old rags as napkins – they can also be washed or if the stains are difficult to remove, thrown away. In any case, it is better to use old clothes for this purpose than napkins, the production of which requires a huge amount of cellulose.
Do not use wet wipes on a picnic: the same old rag soaked in water will do just fine with the dirt. Wet wipes are no less harmful to nature than plastic bags: when dried, they become so light that they take off from the slightest breath of wind. The napkins contain plastic fibers and the napkins are impregnated with fragrances and antibacterial agents that poison the soil when they get into it.
Outdoor recreation is unthinkable without a fire. It doesn’t matter whether you cook food on it or light it up for warming – the fire gives the rest a special, romantic mood. But at the same time, the fire burns out the soil and, as a result, grass, and flowers do not grow in the place of the fire for a long time. Therefore, even if you are not going to barbecue, it is better to make a fire in the grill. Moreover, there is a huge selection of these devices in stores – from the most expensive and durable to cheap folding options. The latter, by the way, if you do not want to use it again, you can take it to a recycling center.
When making a fire, do not use chemical ignition – it gets into the ground and air, and also settles on the food you cook. Tourists have dozens of tricks to start a fire on the first try. For example, spruce twigs are perfect for kindling, which burn well even in wet weather. Special tourist matches are also sold – they burn for several minutes, which is quite enough for kindling. Of the modern ways to start a fire – using toilet paper rolls for kindling and cellulose egg trays – both flare-up perfectly.
If you are relaxing in a forest, then you should not buy store-bought charcoal for a picnic. To create it, forests are cut down, and the coal itself is impregnated with chemicals. At the same time, in any forest, there are many fallen branches of trees, from which you can build a fire. If the terrain is such that it will be problematic to find branches, buy coconut charcoal: in the process of its combustion, 3 times more heat is released.
Mosquitoes and midges can spoil any outdoor recreation, so when we go to the forest, we stock up on repellents. But they contain diethyltoluamide, which is a toxic substance. It is unlikely that its use can be called environmentally friendly.
Meanwhile, essential oils can protect against insects. From midges, the smell of vanillin saves, from ticks – aromas of geranium, eucalyptus, lavender or palmarosa, from mosquitoes – thyme, lavender, rosemary, litsea, geranium, eucalyptus, basil, cloves. The main thing is to dilute the oil with water in advance and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Let’s go back to where we started our article: the main rule of a person with an eco-friendly lifestyle is to leave nature behind without traces of the presence of people. So after the rest, you need to work and clean up the garbage. But you also need to do it right! Many still sin by burning all the waste after a picnic at the stake. But this is not worth doing: the flue gases contain a large number of toxic substances. Especially if there is still plastic in the garbage.
Dispose of garbage properly: bury food waste in the ground – they are easily decomposed and become part of the soil. Dirty paper stained with grease can still be burned. But clean, like plastic, and tin, you should take it with you and hand it over for recycling.
And one more tip: take away not only your garbage but also the garbage of less responsible vacationers. At least one bag: you, especially if you came by car, will not be difficult to transport, and nature will be grateful.