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Zero Waste and picnics go hand in hand for me: spending time in nature, with delicious snacks and in a peaceful environment, goes with the responsibility to treat exactly this nature with respect. Nature gives us so much and we should at least make sure to keep our footprint as small as possible.

These thoughts inspired me to share our day at the sea with you: We went to the beach by bike for a delicious picnic in the sun. For our meal I made myself a little challenge: I wanted to create completely zero waste snacks, i.e. only dishes that I put together from unpackaged food. 

That was not so easy, because in England even more is packed in plastic than in Germany, at least that’s what it seems like to me. Fortunately I have the luxury of living in a relatively small town here in Devon, England, but still have several stores with zero waste offers. There are even two complete package free stores here! For our Zero Waste picnic we had:

  • a simple noodle salad:
  • cook 300g grams of any pasta according to the (un)package instructions and let it cool down – a very small pasta form fits best in my opinion
  • Put them in a large bowl:
    • 1/2 cucumber, cut into small pieces
    • 500g tomatoes, also chopped small
    • other raw vegetables, such as yellow peppers, as desired
    • 1 spring onion, cut into fine strips
    • a small handful of roasted pine nuts
    • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
    • herbs as desired, e.g. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and 1/4 teaspoon oregano
    • Depending on taste also some chili. I also love to add some fresh herbs, such as basil or chives.
    • 5 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons Aceto Balsamico
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Add the cooled pasta and mix everything together
  • Add to that the tastiest dates ever in my picnic basket! Fortunately, the zero waste store always has them in stock, because I am now addicted to them. Unfortunately I don’t know what kind of dates they are, but they are smaller dates with a caramel taste
  • Strawberries – although it was really VERY difficult to find some unpacked ones here
  • Sandwiches with vegan bacon from a new vegan deli here in town, otherwise I also recommend homemade hummus or homemade vegan bacon, here is my recipe for it! 

Thanks to ORTLIEB we also had the right companion to take the goodies safely and easily on our bike tour: The Up-Town Urban bike basket from ORTLIEB.

I think most of you are familiar with ORTLIEB because many of us have been following the brand for years: Bicycle lovers swear by the bike bags, I’ve always heard a lot of good things about them and their focus on sustainability, long before the term became a “trend”, also convinced me to take a closer look at the company and its products.

Bright red bicycle bags, as my roommate always had them, were not for me, although they are of course practical and make you more visible in traffic. But the Up-Town comes in a simple, minimalist design, including reflectors. It is waterproof and multifunctional: as a simple bicycle basket, for shopping, as a picnic basket… And for everything important like your wallet, keys and cell phone you will find a large pocket with zipper inside the basket.

My personal mini review: The basket really has a practical shape and size. My husband and I attached the mounting system to the handlebars together and thanks to the YouTube video explanation this was also super easy. You buy the mounting set, i.e. the bracket, separately so that you can choose the right system to fit your bicycle handlebar. The lid is fixed in the middle, so that you have quick access to the inside pocket and generally to everything in the basket. I had to use the handle a few times and get used to the lid mechanism until I could open and close everything smoothly, and put it on the bike and take it off easily, but that was just a short phase to get used to how it worked. In my Instagram video you can see how smooth the whole thing runs when you have tried it 1-2 times. I also had to get used to the riding feeling when my basket was fully loaded, because I never had a basket on the front of my bike before. But that also was easy and just a short adjustment phase.

Here are a few more hard facts:
+ Flat adapter plate
+ form stable bag body due to aluminum frame
+ reflector made of 3M Scotchlite reflex material
+ tip-resistant quadrapod design
+ Maximum load of 5 kg
+ 17,5 L capacity

There is also a lot to tell about sustainability at ORTLIEB:

Made in Germany:
ORTLIEB manufactures all products at its headquarters in Germany, at its only location in Heilsbronn in Central Franconia. This is where everything takes place, from development, to the construction of tools and machines for production, manufacturing, shipping and also repairs.

Durability:
ORTLIEB products have the reputation of being indestructible, because many people have been using a bag for 20 years or more – and this under the heavy strain of rain, sand and other weather conditions. The company therefore gives a 5-year warranty on all products.

Repairability:
Sustainability and durability also go hand in hand with reparability: of course, there is always the possibility that the products may break. However, ORTLIEB can easily repair most damages. After 5 years, this happens for a fee, but according to ORTLIEB, most customers like to use this service. Often a small repair can directly double the life span of the product. And longevity is a top priority for me in terms of sustainability. The company keeps spare parts for 10 years from the time a product is discontinued (although products do not often discontinue and many have been in production for decades).

And a few more points that you might find exciting: Power consumption and shipping are 100 percent climate neutral since 2017. They also always try to find a good solution from the leftovers from production and up-cycle them in social projects. More about sustainability and ORTLIEB can also be found here.

 
 
 
 

I bet some of you also own a ORTLIEB bike bag! How satisfied are you with them, can you confirm their longevity? So far, I am definitely very enthusiastic and find the bag super practical and we take it with us on almost all trips, even sometimes without a bike 😛

Here are a few impressions of our Zero Waste shopping and our picnic on the beach:

 
 
  
 

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