Now that spring has officially sprung, it means that summer is right around the corner. That conjures up going outside and having fun! One of the best things to do, especially in the early summer before it gets really hot, is to go and have yourself a summer picnic with your friends, family, or just you and your sweetie out for a nice day of food, nature, and relaxation. The great thing about picnics is that they are super easy to make eco-friendly! Here are some tips on having an environmentally-friendly picnic this summer.

Go Local

What better places to go have a picnic than your local park, preservation area, or lake? Depending on your location, you may want to plan ahead, but make it a day of walking, biking, or taking local transportation to your local picnic spot. It’s a great way to get a little exercise. When it comes to your picnic day menu, go for locally-sourced food that hasn’t been driven a long way. Drink-wise, look for juices that have been made from local farms, or if you’re not driving, perhaps a nice bottle of locally-made wine. (Of course, if you’re picnicking in your own backyard, you won’t even have to walk all that way home!)

Reuse When You Can

Picnics are a great way to reuse a whole bunch of stuff in your house. Utensils, drink cups, and glass food containers can all be (carefully) packed in a tote bag or reusable shopping bag that you already have in your house. And, if you’re going to be having a full spread, that means you’re going to need a blanket to set everything on. Even a regular bed sheet will work for a picnic blanket – but make sure you’re going to use one that you don’t mind getting grass stains on.

Learn About Your Surroundings

Another great thing about picnics is that you’re outside with nature (while wearing sunblock, of course). But if you’re going somewhere where you’ll be seeing a lot of animal and plant life, make sure you bring a field guide and binoculars. If you’ve been keeping a nature journal, picnics are perfect for eating some food and observing the world around you. Depending on where you go, you may want to bring a book about the history of the place where you live. And don’t forget about the weather, either! With kids, bring a book about weather and teach them about what kind of clouds are in the sky and how they can cause different kinds of weather. They’ll have fun and learn at the same time.

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