Someone posted about picnics in a Facebook group I belong to. The post was about feeling like she didn’t make good picnics compared to others.
Of course, I had to chime in. This year, we picnicked 5 different times in one week. Over the course of the week, I learned a lot both how I can improve my picnic food and paying more attention to zero waste.
Because on Passover we do not use the regular water bottles we use all year round, it is the one week of the year, we use plastic. I buy a pack of 6 small water bottles and a pack of 1 liters so we can refill the small ones while we are out. This is actually great for picnics, because we freeze the water bottles and they act as ice packs and drinking water in the cooler.
I have a great cooler bag, that is really sturdy, and easy to clean. This makes packing food easier, and food stays cold, using ice all day. (This also came in handy as extra fridge space, during the holiday, I just rotated my ice packs.)
Everyday I brought a knife, cutting board, a towel, (except the first day for those three items) disposable plates, plastic forks, a can of olives, cucumbers, and a bag of potato chips. Can’t help it, for me it’s not pesach without them and I only buy them on pesach so a huge treat for my kids.If we had terra cycle for chip bags where we live, I would totally recycle the bags, but alas, this is a garbage item for now.)
The first day – Sunday – of picnicking I just made chocolate matzah sandwichs, brought fruit, and chips, big bummer, we also ran out of water.
Monday, determined not to have a pathetic lunch where when we got home everyone was starving, I made chicken salad from leftovers, packed a knife and cutting board along with a bag of matzah, jelly, cucumbers, olives, peppers, crazins, apples, lettuce and chips, We brought more water but still not enough.
So Monday night I froze water bottles, and sent my husband out to the beach with the kids
Tuesday with the same thing but no chicken salad.
Wednesday, we did the bottled water trick again, I made salmon, hard boiled eggs, boiled sweet potatoes, and potato salad, along with olives, cucumbers, some apples, and of course cutting board and knife, we got two meals out of it and everyone was happy! What helps for me is freezing the water bottles, cold water for the whole trip and no need shelp back ice packs.
We had trash from the plates, forks, and chip bags and recycling from the olive cans , and water bottles. Everything else came in a reusable container.
I am still looking for a good solution to the plates and forks… Maybe tin plates, or thick reusable plastic that i still light weight we could wash it? It gets tricky with keeping kosher since, if one day I make a dairy picnic and the next day we have meat, I would need two sets of dishes… and of course, as always the minimalist in my wants nothing extra.
Still thinking of a solution, but would love to hear what you do at a picnic… tweet me(@balaganbegone), or just leave a comment below.