Greener Choices For Your Next Picnic

image credit: Arlyna Blanchard

With so much to do and so many outings and friends and family gatherings to plan for this summer, it’s easy to take our beautiful surroundings for granted. So while you’re out enjoying the longer summer days (and nights), think about your impact on the environment.

Here are some greener choices for your next picnic:

Picnic Item & Material To Avoid Why Avoid? Greener Choices
Park area with “Caution Pesticide Application” signs Pesticides are linked to cancer in humans and pets. Children and pets are more susceptible to the harmful effects & are more readily exposed. Park area designated as Pesticide-Free
Vinyl Tablecloth &Vinyl Bag Vinyl can leach phthalates (hormonedisruptors). May contain lead as a stabilizer. Cloth (cotton, linen, canvas)
Styrofoam Plates,Bowls, Cups& Plastic Cutlery Styrofoam can leach styrene (hormonedisruptor).Americans send 21 million tons of plastics to landfills and incinerators each year. Some plastics end up in waterways killing wildlife. • Reusable metal• Recycled, chlorine-free paper• Compostable products made of biodegradable plant starches (potato, corn, sugar cane)
Glossy Paper Napkins Paper making and bleaching processes release dioxins and other toxins into the environment.Inks may contain heavy metals. • Cloth• Chlorine-free recycled paper• Water-based dyes (if any)
Plastic Water Bottles Bottled water is not safer or more pure than tap.Plastic can leach into drinking water.Americans throw away almost 24 Billion plastic water bottles yearly Refillable stainless steel
Food and Drink heavy with Pesticide Residues Pesticides can weaken the nervous, immune, & reproductive systems. • Organic eats
• Produce low in pesticides (EWG’s “Clean 15”)
Sunscreen & Lip Balm with Oxybenzone or Octinoxate Oxybenzone and Octinoxate may act like estrogen in the body and disrupt normal hormone functioning. • Zinc oxide • Titanium dioxide
protect against UVA and UVB rays.
Sunburn Ointment withParabens, BHA, TEA,DEA, or Formaldehyde These chemical preservatives and additives are linked to cancer. • Vitamins A, C, E , and• Sorbic acidare natural preservatives
DEET Insect Spray DEET can cause alterations in the brain and nervous system including motor deficits and learning and memory dysfunction. • Repellant containing:– Lemon-eucalyptus oil– PMD (p-Mentane 3,8-diol)– Citronella or Soy oil
– Picaridin

 Source: Local Motion Green

How will you make your picnic eco-friendly?

–Sarah Jo Sautter, Editor and Publisher

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