Originally published December 13, 2020. Updated May 16, 2021.
Who else feels like they might go completely nuts if stuck inside watching Netflix for the millionth day this year? If you’re wanting a change of scenery and an activity that doesn’t involve being inside your house, try going for a picnic! This is a low cost activity that can be done in a way that is socially distanced and sustainable. I’ve got several tips to help you make your zero waste picnic as eco-friendly as possible:
Pack food in zero waste packaging.
Avoid throwaway materials and anything plastic when packing your picnic food in order to keep things sustainable. Use reusable containers (like these) or reusable silicone bags (like these) rather than plastic bags or plastic wrap.
Also, a tip about choosing what food to pack: Select food based on how you want the occasion to feel. Struggling to get all the kids out the door? Just stick to sandwiches and make your life easier. Trying for a fun date night after a million evenings of Netflix? Cook some fancier food to make it feel extra special!
Bring a reusable water bottle.
Say no to single use plastics and bring your own reusable water bottle. This is a crucial thing to remember–nothing quite kills a meal like having no water to wash it down!
I’m also not going to judge if you pack something that’s not water in your reusable bottle. I’m all about making an occasion extra fun! Just be sure to follow all local laws, of course.
Use compostable tableware and flatware.
Picnics get unsustainable quickly when you’re using plastic utensils, styrofoam cups, or waxed paper plates for your food. Go greener with compostable or biodegradable tableware. I recently tried out the palm leaf flatware and tableware from SellSage and am a fan. No trees are cut down to make these products, and they turn back to soil within 45 days of disposal, which is fantastic in terms of minimizing waste. The plates are more sturdy than paper plates, and I also like how many different plate options they have, especially the nifty sectioned plates for folks who don’t want their various foods to touch.
(If you create an account on the SellSage website, you will receive a 40% off discount.)
Bring a biodegradable or compostable trash bag.
Gather up everyone’s compostable tableware in a compostable trash bag so that your picnic truly remains zero waste. So easy to pop in your trunk when you’re ready to leave!
Bring a reusable mask.
Even if you’re planning to be socially distanced while picnicking, it’s a good idea to have a mask on hand if the parking lot is crowded or you have to walk through a busy area to get to your picnic location. Stick to a reusable mask rather than a disposable one to avoid creating unnecessary waste. Pura Vida’s reusable masks feature two layers of fabric and an opening for a disposable filter for ultimate safety. This company is committed to sustainability and utilizes biodegradable packaging.
Happy zero waste picnicking, friends!
P.S. – This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase a product using a link from this post. Read more here about my disclaimers/disclosures.