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Celebrate National Picnic Day

June 18, 2013

National Picnic Day is Tuesday, June 18, and since World Environment Day was just on June 5, we want to provide you with information needed in order to have a sustainable picnic on National Picnic Day. Going green is very important at Wheels For Wishes, and the mission of this year’s World Environment Day is to reduce food waste. It’s easy to have a fun, family picnic, while making sure that you don’t waste any food!

Plan Ahead

Often times, we plan for meals based off of what we might do in the future. We say, “I might want this for lunch later in the week” or “we might want seconds”. However, we often find ourselves full after our first plate or maybe the meal wasn’t as good tasting as we thought it would be. In this case, you probably won’t want leftovers.

If you have a full pot of food left over, this results in a large amount of food being tossed into the garbage. When you think about how important this food is to people who aren’t as fortunate to have second helpings, if even one plate to begin with, it’s a big waste and something we can try to prevent.

To celebrate National Picnic Day, take your family on a relaxing picnic, but don’t overwhelm yourselves with several baskets of food. Instead, keep things simple so you can enjoy the experience of eating in nature, rather than being crowded with excess food items.

Keep It Simple

Sandwiches are great picnic foods. A person can usually finish a typical picnic sandwich, but if you know your kids won’t eat the whole sandwich, just bring halves to be safe. This way, you’re only bringing enough sandwiches for that particular meal and won’t risk it spoiling if it sits out too long in the sun. You also won’t have to worry about rushing home to throw it in the refrigerator. Plus, it’s not often that you get to enjoy a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so use this fun opportunity on your picnic!

If you’re a family who enjoys a good snack, you probably won’t waste chips or crackers. Bring a box of crackers along or a bag of chips. The nice thing about chips or crackers is that they are easy to carry around and they can easily be sealed up afterward so they aren’t wasted.

For a little something extra, make a cold pasta salad or something you know will be a great side dish. Just don’t overdo it—if you’re not going to eat the whole box of pasta, only make half of it!

For drinks, bring something that can be recycled or that you know won’t be wasted.

Make It A Larger Celebration

Consider inviting a larger crowd of people to your picnic. Chances are that guests will love the opportunity to sit outside in the warm June sun. If the picnic will be a larger gathering, consider making it a potluck in your yard or find a local park or beach that you can set up at. To reduce waste, ask everyone to bring a dish to share. If possible, use reusable plates and silverware, but if that sounds like too much work on your end, ask everyone to bring their own place setting. Alternately, make sure you use recyclable eatery so it can at least be recycled and won’t go to waste.

Ask guests to also bring empty reusable containers so everyone can take leftover food with them when they leave. Also ask everyone to bring their own beverage or reusable cups.

These steps will help to make your event waste-free, which will result in a cleaner, greener environment. After all, picnics are a great way to help save energy and cut back on electricity. You get to sit outside in the natural light and enjoy the great company of family and friends.

Share The Love

Another great idea for National Picnic Day may be to reach out to the rest of your community. In honor of National Picnic Day, consider cooking traditional picnic foods and visit a local children’s hospital. If you are unable to distribute the food to others, speak with the nurses and see what they can do to bring the magic of picnics inside for the children to enjoy. Children with critical illnesses often miss out on fun experiences like picnics, so your gesture could mean the world to them.

If you are looking for another way to help out in your community and give back to a local child with a medical condition, consider donating a car to Wheels For Wishes, benefiting Make-A-Wish. Your unwanted vehicle is either recycled or auctioned off, and earned proceeds from the sale of the vehicle are then donated to your local Make-A-Wish. Your used vehicle can make a difference in the life of a child. Car donation is an easy solution to bringing hope, strength, and joy back into the life of a child!

To donate a vehicle to Wheels For Wishes, please call 1-855-278-9474 or fill out our easy online vehicle donation form.

We would also love to hear what your favorite picnic foods are, or how your family plans to reduce food waste this year. Share your ideas on our Facebook or Twitter pages!

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