Changing our habits around the Big 4 is easy – a tote bag for the shopping, reusable water bottles, reusable straws and reusable coffee cups. Tick. But how else can we do our bit to help reduce the impact of single-use plastics in all areas of our lives?
One of our favourite local creatives, Spell & The Gypsy, has some ideas and we were particularly inspired by their musings on putting together a plastic-free picnic, and let’s face it, there are few more beautiful spots anywhere in the world to have a picnic than in Byron. Staking a claim along one of the long stretches of white, sandy beaches is the place to be to immerse yourself in all that this nature’s wonderland has to offer, and a glorious sunset is the freebie thrown in if time gets away.
So what to pack? Lots of home-cooked goodies created from fresh local produce bought at one of Byron’s many local markets, or from a bulk food supplier such as The Source. It’s where everything is fresh and organic, stored in glass and wrapped in brown paper. Fill your rattan or cane picnic basket with your scrummy morsels, a loaf of fragrant, fresh-baked bread, a bottle or two of local wine, some wicked organic chocolates from Loco Love (you’ll find them in the mini-bar at The Bower), some fresh berries you’ve marinated in glass jars to serve with a dollop of sweet, sweet yoghurt, a big linen throw and off you go. If hanging around for sunset is your thing, maybe put in a few glass jars and candles to make the experience even more delightful.
PS We know going plastic free nowadays is impossible, but doing our bit around single-use plastics is a seriously significant starting point. It’s what we’re doing at The Bower and know if you’re one of our tribe, it’s what you'll be doing too.
PPS If you're as inspired by Spell and their team as much as we are, check out our Local's Guide to Byron with Isabella Pennefather - or Spelly as she's better known - one part of the clever sister duo behind the iconic Byron based brand. It's Byron, Spelly-style!
As you probably know, we LOVE having picnics. For us, there’s nothing better than grabbing a group of friends and heading down to the beach to catch a magical Byron sunset, vino in hand and platter in tow.
So for me, one of the hardest things I found about doing Plastic Free July was figuring out what to pack for a picnic or for watching the sunset! I didn’t want to miss out on these special moments in life, especially when we’re blessed with such natural beauty here in Byron. So I got to thinking and all I needed to do was make a few easy alternatives and just take a slightly different approach. So we got creative in the kitchen and found such inspiration from one of our favourite cook books ~ Whole by Natural Harry . It’s full of delicious, wholesome, plant-based recipes perfect for every day life and creating your very own plastic free picnic! Keep scrolling for one of the recipes we used!
Excited and inspired, we decided to make some home-made snacks from our Whole by Natural Harry cook book as well as purchase some snacks from our favourite spots in Byron.
Beetroot & mint dip
Garlic & Rosemary dip
Pumpkin & brown rice ‘arrancini’ balls
Choc chip fudge
Crudités (chopped carrots, capsicum, cucumber)
Local store-bought snacks:
Lime & black pepper fava beans
Moorish nut mix
Dark chocolate covered goji berries
First stop The Source (our favourite bulk foods store). We love everything about The Source from their initial roots in Byron to their philosophy of taking only what you need, connecting to the source of your food and embracing a better, low waste way of living and shopping. We shop there weekly, and are now in the habit of taking our own containers to refill to make grocery shopping completely waste free. They have such a diverse range of products – from lunch box snacks, to pre made muesli, all your grains, flours rice, herbs, spices, protein powder, oils, honey – the list goes on! See our blog on setting up a plastic free pantry here . Then off to the Bay Grocer!
When buying produce it’s so important to consider food miles as this is a huge contributor to global pollution, resource use and climate change. Wherever possible eat in season to your region, and shop at a farmer’s market or a grocer that sources their produce from local farmers. Not only does this help the planet by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide through the distance food travels, but you’re also supporting your community and are guaranteed the food will be so much more fresh and full of wholesome nutrients!
We bought all of our produce from the Bay Grocer in Byron, who follow these principles so know we can shop confidently knowing we are supporting our local network of farmers and in turn, our community.
Our platter was vegan – but you can always add cheese, simply BYO container to your local deli to avoid unnecessary packaging! However, we are yet to find plastic free crackers or chips – so if anyone has come across these please let us know!
We spent a bit of time in the kitchen preparing for our plastic free picnic, but there are so many swaps you could make if you wanted to create a platter on the go. The Source has an amazing selection of dried fruit and nut mixes as well as a delicious array of savoury and sweet snacks (the moon macadamias are an absolute must!).