Nothing beats something as simple as a traditional summer picnic. When the sun is shining, grab your friends and your favourite food and head down to your nearest open space.
Of course, there are a few items that are undoubtedly classed as the ‘classic essentials’ in the eyes of the British picnicking population. A tartan blanket, a wicker basket, Pimms, and a forecast of cloudy with a chance of rain.. and that’s just the start.
It’s one thing to ensure you have everything you need to create the perfect picnic-but it’s another thing entirely to ensure your spread is ethical and organic. This includes the food you are eating, and the things you are eating off.
Disposable plates, cutlery and cups unfortunately also usually come hand in hand with picnic culture. Our throwaway attitude means that in the UK alone produces more than 170 million tonnes of waste every year, much of it food packaging.
Here’s our guide to having picnic, conscious style…
#1 Tartan Picnic Blanket
These blankets are not only an aesthetic icon of the traditional picnic – but are sustainable too. Made from recycled picnic – but are sustainable too. Made from recycled wool, or ‘shoddy’ wool left over from the production of virgin wool blankets. Each blankets colour pattern is therefore unique, making them even more rustic and special.
Hen and Hammock £22 or 2 for £30
#2 Picnic Basket
Obviously you need something to hold all of your lovely, conscious goodies in whilst still looking cute. Picnic Time are a brand who care about making their products long-lasting, and ensuring they are ethically made. None of their factories are based outside of the US, and the company has strict sourcing standards that all suppliers must obey, ensuring transparency.
Picnic Time Country Basket $44.95
These gorgeous Moroccan style lanterns have been royally upcycled from humble jam jars. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use, you’re well equipped if your afternoon picnic goes into the night! If the bottom of the jam jar breaks – you can easily reattach one of your own to the metal fixings.
Hen and Hammock Jam Jar Lantern £12
#4 Tumblers, plates and bowls
Quirky and kitsch, these picnic plates, tumblers and bowls are made from bamboo, corn starch and other natural fibres. They are biodegradeable, recyclable and reasonably priced – each item starting from £3.
Ethical Superstore from £3
One thing that’s easy to forget is napkins. Lots of finger food, tasty treats and spilt drinks may require the purchase of a slightly more boring essential. These napkins are 100% recycled and unbleached. They’re good for the environment and for your clumsy friend after a few drinks!
VegWare £6.82 for 250
Vegan’s will be thrilled to know that Pimm’s is actually a vegan friendly alcoholic drink! So, when Pimm’s o’clock rolls around you can first in line!
#7 Strawberries and Cream
A British classic, pick up some strawberries from your local farmers market or buy M&S’s organic ones (these can also be used in the Pimm’s…delicious!). Veganify/organify the cream by using your local Alpro soya cream or coconut cream, pick from your local supermarket.
Eat Natural’s quinoa chips are not only tasty and easy to share around, but also made from natural ingredients. They also stock hummus and lentil chips, all in a range of amazing flavours. Totally vegan friendly, they are a go to guilt-free picnic snack. Found in most organic shops, such as Infinity foods in Brighton.
#9 Higgidy Pies and Quiches
Higgidy Pies (who have their kitchens in Shoreham) not only offer a fantastic vegetarian range, but are committed to reducing waste. Pairing up with Brighton Paper round, a local recycling business, they ensure that any pastry off cuts are put to good use and are turned into bio-gas – a source of sustainable energy . An easy and eco-conscious picnic purchase.
Pinterest is the best place to look for a tasty salad, and making one in bulk means you not only know what’s in it, you can buy locally and reduce waste where possible. This spicy kale and bean one is really yummy, and goes a long way.
For all those cheaters out there – Aldi’s cheap and vegan friendly salads are delicious and ready-made making for one less thing to think about (but think about the packaging, and avoid if you can)
We’ve still got some summer left, so lets make the most of the sunshine and get outside. Show us pictures of your favourite picnic essentials by tagging us on instagram @revival.collective.