On a Hot Summer Day, Have an Eco Picnic

July 23, 2012

Enjoy a summer eco picnic outside with fresh food from farmers marketsIt is sure has been such a beautiful summer in Boston; there is almost no reason to be indoors. Soak up some sun while eating healthy food and respecting the environment. This is your guide to an eco-friendly summer picnic.

It has been very hot and humid the past few days. The temperature has been around a high of 80 degrees Fahrenheit in Boston, Mass., and very warm around the country The skies have been clear, the sun will continue to shine brightly, and the shore breezes will refresh everyone in the area. If you have an hour during the day to grab a bite and rest, why not do so outside? Here are some easy tips to have a healthy, eco-friendly picnic right out the door.

1. Your Basket
Eating outside can sure be a lot of fun, but it also can be very messy. To reduce waste, consider these when packing your basket.

• Use a big tote bag as a basket. No need to spend money on a new bag.
• Pre-pack your food in glass containers, or any type of reusable container, so no plastic or paper is involved.
• Instead of paper napkins, bring cloth napkins. Old t-shirts or handkerchiefs work perfectly.
• Pack your silverware. Avoid getting plastic forks and knives.

2. Your Food
Fresh fruits and vegetables sound just about right for a meal in warm weather. For a quick, healthy and environmentally conscious lunch, a sandwich made with local, organic and seasonal ingredients hits the spot perfectly.

• Check out the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Market for information about time and location of farmers markets to find one near you. There is no better way of getting fresh produce, fruits and bread.

• Not in Boston? Not a problem! Go on the USDA website to see schedules and locations of farmers market all over the country.

  • At the farmers market select your preferred bread, get some artisan goat cheese, a vegetable spread or your choice of vegetables, and pick some fruits for dessert! Strawberries are in season!

• Bring your own water in a travel mug, or a recycled plastic bottle. Add ice-cubes to keep cool! For an extra-refreshing sensation, add a quarter of a lime or lemon.

3. Your Location
There are many green spaces in Boston and surrounding areas, so you will never run out of options on where to set your picnic. The following are just a few suggestions.

• The Boston Common, right in the heart of Downtown. Many of the public transportation lines meet around Park Street, so you may get there through the Green, Red, Orange and Silver line, and enjoy the beautiful view of the Boston skyline.

• The Public Garden, across the street from the Boston Common, by the Arlington Station on the Green line. The Public Garden offer the most beautiful variety of trees and flowers, green grass and even a small pond, where you can take a ride on the famed Swan Boats. There are a lot of shaded spots in the Garden, so if you want to stay cool and protect your skin from sun rays, this is perfect!

• The Arboretum, at the end of the Orange Line, by the Forrest Hills Station. If your idea of a picnic takes place in a more secluded area, take a trip to the Arboretum. Get lost in the beautiful park, pick a hill to go on a hike, or just sit under a tree and contemplate on the scenery.

Make sure to use sunscreen or take proper precautions if planning to stay out for a long time. It is important to bring enough water to stay hydrated. Pick a green spot, grab your food and take advantage of everything Boston has to offer during the summer.

-Alexandra Gyarfas

Photo Credit: Alexandra Gyarfas