Picnics are the new dinner parties. What better time than the summer to take advantage of the outdoors and share a meal with friends! Not to mention, an aesthetically-pleasing picnic setup is totally Instagrammable.
To celebrate the start of summer, we created the Picnic Kit to help you dine outside without leaving a trace. Before you pack a cooler and head to your local park, we’d like to share a few tips on how to keep your picnic low-waste. Some of these tips might even save you a little cash during your picnic preparation.
Instead of shelling out upwards of $50 on a new picnic blanket, dig through your home for a towel or old blanket. If you only have a thin bath towel, bring a pillow or cushion along with you for extra support! Your local thrift store will also have many old blankets that are perfect for a picnic! Just make sure to thoroughly wash any thrift store item that you purchase!
Another option is to repurpose an old coffee table into a small picnic table. Place cushions around the table and enjoy your meal that way! This option is not as accessible, but it is definitely more comfortable than sitting hunched over a plate of food.
During the summer, local parks are usually littered with plastic forks, red solo cups, and paper plates. To keep parks clean, bring your own utensils, plates, and drinkware to your picnic! Reusable bamboo utensils are a great substitute for plastic utensils that also come with a cotton storage pouch. Set your picnic table with matching plates, cloth napkins, and reusable utensils for each guest. Guests can bring reusable water bottles and cups instead of plastic bottles that could end up in the landfill if disposed of improperly. Once your picnic has come to an end, lightly wipe off the dishware, pack it up, and wash at home!
If you’re worried about bringing your own dishes to the park, compostable plates and plant-derived utensils are another option that will eventually decompose rather than stay in the landfill forever.
Before your outing, spend the morning preparing a few dishes for your picnic to share with friends! Making your own meals not only saves you money, but this also means you won’t have to purchase items like pasta salad that are usually packaged in single-use plastic. Here’s a simple recipe for plant-based chickpea tuna salad!
Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and you’re done! Cover the bowl with a reusable food cover and enjoy at your picnic! This salad can be eaten with crackers, on top of romaine lettuce, or in a sandwich! Make sure to pack a loaf of pre-sliced bread of your choice in an organic cotton mesh produce bag for the picnic so you and your friends can make sandwiches!
If your friends put you in charge of bringing snacks or dessert, check out Kathryne Taylor’s vegetarian food blog Cookie and Kate. These oat muffins would be perfect for a summer picnic! Store your muffins in a reusable container or muslin produce bag and pack them in your bag.
Bringing your own containers, blankets, and plates from home should never be embarrassing. Sustainable picnics can be just as enjoyable as any other picnic! To eliminate waste, do a trash clean-up with friends and leave your local picnic spot cleaner than how you found it! Any way to switch from single-use items to products that will last years is a great way to reduce waste in your daily life.
Now that you know how to plan the perfect low-waste picnic, stock up on eco-friendly essentials and save with our picnic kit! This curated bundle includes bamboo utensils, organic cotton mesh produce bags, organic muslin produce bags, reusable food covers, and a cotton mesh canvas bag to store your picnic supplies! Your friends may be a little jealous of your picnic kit, so be prepared to receive compliments!
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