How To Have A Sustainable And Zero-Waste Picnic

As the weather starts to warm up, its the perfect time to have a picnic! Picnics not only bring friends and family together, but also encourage you to get outside and enjoy nature. While they usually include lots of single-use plastic, there are plenty of ways to avoid the waste (as long as you plan ahead).

Here are a few tips so you can make your next picnic less wasteful and more sustainable!

bring reusable dishes and utensils

Plastic utensils and dishes are the biggest culprit when it comes to picnic waste. While its much easier to use disposable options, reusable items can be just as convenient if you plan accordingly!

Since you’ll have to pack everything up at the end of the picnic, its best to choose foods that are less messy so clean up is easier. I’ve included a few recipes at the end of this article that are perfect for this occasion.

If you choose foods that require utensils, bring reusable ones and pack them in a mason jar (or another similar container) that way when everyone’s done eating you can put them in the jar again and avoid any messes when you transport them.

Another thing to remember is that, while it may be tempting to buy fancy new reusable containers for the event, the most sustainable choice is using items that you already have and borrowing ones that you don’t.

ask guests to bring reusable cups with them

This is a small request for your guests that allows them to embrace the sustainable aspect of the get together and makes things a little easier for you as well.

You can also choose drinks that come in recyclable bottles/cans or make beverages at home and bring them in a reusable jar or pitcher. Then when everyone arrives they can serve themselves drinks in the cups they brought with them.

get your ingredients locally and choose vegan

Now onto the fun part, the food! Like I mentioned before, its best to choose foods with easy clean up but if you’re trying to be extra eco-friendly there’s lots of ways to do that with your food choices.

Getting your ingredients locally supports small business owners in your community and usually means less waste is created when you shop. Remember to shop in season and bring your reusable bags with you.

Here are a few picnic friendly recipes, which are also vegan because avoiding animal products is another way to eat sustainably!

  • Sandwiches and wraps are a perfect main course, because they’re mess free and super easy to serve. This article from Nutriciously has 41 recipes for vegan wraps or if you prefer sandwiches, Vegan Heaven has a list of 18 vegan options that would work well too.
  • Sides are super easy as you can pick any package free foods that go well with the entree you pick. Fruit, salad, popcorn, trail mix, or chips and salsa can all make great snacks and sides.
  • I think cookies would make the perfect picnic dessert! This article from The Spruce Eats has 15 recipes for vegan cookies that are easy to transport and share.

I hope this gave you some ideas of how you can have your own zero-waste picnic, and if you try any of tips let me know how they worked for you in the comments. Thanks for reading, have a lovely day!


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