Summer is finally here and nothing says summer quite like an outdoor picnic - are we right? In this months edition of Arbors sustainable swaps we've collected 5 zero-waste essentials perfect to pack with you on your summer picnics, camping trips or river floats!

Stainless steel lunch boxes

Stainless steel is non-toxic, hygienic, rust-proof, is 100% recyclable, does not produce any toxic runoff and reduces our heavy dependence on natural resources as stainless steel products last years and years - all making it much more eco-friendly than plastic! So next time you're packing up some leftovers, reach for a steel alternative instead.

For our Arbor alternative we are fans of The Container Kit, a high-performance everyday lunch box that contains two vacuum-sealed, double-insulated 350mL stainless steel containers that keep food both hot and cold for up to 12+ hours. The fun knapsack kit comes in two bold colours and is made of a water-resistant 100% recycled polyester (a.k.a. water bottles). United by Blue has outdone themselves with this hot and new product that makes everyday living so wholesome and sleek and is a great bang for your buck!

Steel cutlery set

There's no time like the present to invest in a go-to portable cutlery set when you’re on the go! Say goodbye to forgetting a fork, spoon or knife on your next outing with this convenient all-in-one pack! We can almost guarantee by adopting reusable cutlery and knowing that you're making a positive impact will make your meal way more enjoyable!

Our Arbor alternative is this fun and compact Mizu cutlery set includes a stainless steel fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks straw all wrapped in a cute and convenient pouch. Best of all there are no toxic additives being 100% BPA Free and zero waste as it’s 100% recyclable. Grab one from tentree today!

Coffee lovers

From the grab & go to the at-home barista, we've got all coffee lovers covered here!

A reusable coffee mug is a simple & easy way you can start living a more sustainable lifestyle. The problem with disposable coffee cups is that they’re made from fossil fuel or petroleum-based polystyrene plastic or cheap styrofoam that can take more than a million years to decompose in the landfill - easily making a reusable mug the superior option.

Our Arbor alternative is the Camelback Hot Cap 20 oz. Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug by Gazelle Sports it's recommended for hot beverages up to 90°C with a 360° leak-proof cap allowing you to drink flexibly from any side and disassembled for easy cleaning. B Corp Certified including BPA, BPS, BPF free this versatile mug is perfect for you whether on your daily on-the-go commute or chilling at home.

Pro-Tip: pair it with an Unbelts Upcycled Bevvie Sleeve by Unbelts. This handy all-in-one loop clamps onto your on-the-go coffee cup, a beverage koozie and even a key ring. Best of all, as a B Corp and BIPOC supported brand.

For all, you home-brewers out there did you know there is such a thing as a reusable coffee filter? Go one step further as a zero waste triple threat for coffee and grab a package of these KINTO cotton coffee filters by United by Blue. No chemicals whatsoever and made responsibly in Japan and is B-Corp certified.

Mesh produce bags

Do you ever wonder what happens to those produce plastic baggies at the supermarket after you toss them? Unless they are biodegradable, (and unfortunately most of them aren't) they sit in our landfills, taking a casual 1000 years or so to decompose. Your best bet here, is to replace those single-use bags with a set of reusable mesh produce bags!

Our Arbor alternative is these colourful sets of 4 reusable produce bags by Chicobag, they're BPA-free and replace up to 520 single-use plastic bags throughout their life. Crazy! Best of all they come in two different types of sets: Moisture-locking and Mesh. As moisture-locked bags, they lock in moisture and reduce wilting and are ideal for lettuce, spinach, carrots, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli and so much more! As mesh bags they circular more airflow so your veggies don’t become stale. This set is great for apples, tomatoes, oranges, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, garlic and on. Bonus: toss them in the washer for easy cleaning.

Silicone resealable food bag

Made from all-natural silica (found in sand silicone) has become all the rage lately for living a zero-waste lifestyle - from ice cube trays to cupcake non-stick baking sheets the possibilities are truly endless (and less harsh on the environment!) compared to disposable plastics. For starters silicone is highly durable and can withstand amazingly high temperatures from piping hot to ice cold. It’s BPA-free and reduces the chance of leaching chemicals into your food. And it lasts longer than conventional plastic as it generates less waste and lastly is more ocean-friendly. And so, silicone-based products may not be perfect but it’s one of the best sustainable substitutes towards a greener lifestyle.

Our Arbor alternative is this compact and stylish the Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag (and more) by Stasher. The different colours all offer the same non-toxic, 100% pure platinum silicone with a Pinch-loc™ clasp seal are endlessly reusable. These bags are dishwasher and microwave safe and you can even write cute reminder notes on them for easy reference. Stasher is also a women-owned and part of 1% For The Planet and a B Corp certified brand so you can feel good putting your money towards this brand.