For my kids, a picnic is the ultimate special meal. Typically we don’t go far—our backyard is as good a place as any. It's all about taking the opportunity to slow down, step outside, and sit barefoot in the grass while sipping lemonade, listening to the birds, and watching for lizards. With full bellies, my 4-year-old son and I lay on our backs, stare at the sky and watch for bald eagles (sometimes we are lucky enough to spot one).
Our favorite picnic treats usually end up being finger food like muscadine grapes, homemade garlic hummus, farmer’s cheese, and baguettes from the local French bakery. All of these are easy for my little ones to eat and easy to pack and carry.
This Earth Day (tomorrow!), join me and thousands more in the Picnic for the Planet; a celebration of nature, food, and friends. The Nature Conservancy has teamed up with top chefs to create a mouth-watering menu and is encouraging people to organize their own picnic meet-ups. No matter where you are, you can find a good spot—even if you just take the party out on the balcony. If it is al fresco, it counts! Keep your meal earth-friendly by following these easy actions:
Eat Smart: Learn what’s in your food, where it came from, and who it impacts.
Eat Local: Where possible, buy food that is in season from local food producers.
Eat Sustainably: Especially when it comes to seafood. One of the only things that we still get from the wild.
Eat Green: Fruits and vegetables are good for your health and the planet’s.
Happy Earth Day!
Stephanie is a marine biologist and Director of Coral Reef Conservation for The Nature Conservancy. She has snorkeled in a jellyfish lake in Palau, come face to face with a Komodo dragon in Indonesia, swam with sharks in the Bahamas, and camped in the deserts of Namibia. She has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and the Florida Keys and is now settled with her family in Gainesville, Florida. She continues to travel the world with two little ones as she works to develop a global network of coral reef managers. Stephanie's passion for coral reefs is matched by her obsession with living green as she continues to find ways to reduce her family's impact on the planet.