Believe it or not (we certainly can’t), it’s already the end of April! With that has come Earth Day last weekend, National Picnic Day just earlier this week, and (hopefully) loads of nicer weather. So, as we march into May, let’s keep the lessons we’ve learned from these recent holidays in mind—enjoy the outdoors responsibly and care for our planet! How do we put that into practice? Well, here are some tools to keep in your picnic basket for the next time you’re enjoying the spring weather in the great outdoors:
1. Say “no” to those single-use plates, cups, and utensils. Make your picnic extra nice for both you and our environment by skipping the disposable stuff. Choose reusable instead and break out the real plates, cups, and silverware. It’ll be an extra treat as you enjoy your meal outside.
2. For any trash you do create, be sure to dispose of it properly. After your picnic is done, it’s possible that you’ll have some sort of trash left to throw away or recycle. Make sure you do so responsibly! If the nearest trash can is overflowing, hold on to those items until you can find a spot to throw it away without the risk of it being blown away.
3. If you’re celebrating and plan to decorate your picnic, plan your decorations accordingly. If you’re having an extra-special picnic and are choosing to decorate, think about those decorations and if you can reuse them at another celebration. Skip the balloons and other items that could easily become harmful debris, and choose instead some fabric banners or paper streamers that you can use at another shindig.
4. Hold on to your stuff! Your outdoor event may come with unplanned weather—including winds and rain. Make sure you keep track of all your belongings so they don’t accidentally blow away and become debris.
5. Make it easy for those that are joining you. If you’re inviting others to your picnic, make it easy for them to join in your debris-free event. Remind them to bring their reusable cup and provide them with plates and cutlery. Spreading the word to others is an important part of marine debris prevention, so your efforts may pay off next time they host their own outdoor meal.