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Summer is here, and so is one of our favorite summer activities: picnics! Whether it be a birthday party, happy hour, reunion, date, or a day at the beach, picnics are a great way to gather together while enjoying nature. In order to honor and preserve our natural surroundings, we keep our picnics as sustainable as possible.
Picnics require supplies... like plates, napkins, dishes, silverware, cups, blankets, baskets, and more! Instead of buying everything brand new, consider gathering extra items you already own, or hitting up your local thrift shop (or Facebook Marketplace) for those secondhand gems. If thrifting or second-hand isn’t an option, we've gathered a list of our must-haves for your next picnic:
1. CLOTH NAPKINS
We love these Marley’s Monsters' Cloth Napkins. They are made from 100% organic cotton, are machine washable, and come in a fun assortment of colors and prints! Take 10% off your first Marley's Monsters with our link HERE.
2. SILICONE "BOWLS"
Instead of disposable Ziploc bags, we love these leak-free, sustainable to-go "bowls" from Stasher. A bag and bowl in one, making them perfect for picnics - you can eat right out of them. They come in a variety of bundles and cute colors, too!
3. WAX WRAPS
For foods that should be wrapped up, these Reusable Wax Food Wraps are the perfect sustainable option! They are 100% plant-based and have even been shown to extend food freshness 5-7 days beyond their disposable plastic wrap counterpart.
4. ALL THINGS STAINLESS STEEL
Stainless steel is your friend when it comes to sustainability! It's durable, safe to eat from, and can last a lifetime if you care for it right. We love these Plates, Silverware and Straw Set, Cups, Airtight Containers, and even Reusable Ice Packs to keep things cold.
5. REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Thankfully wine, beer, and many other beverages already come packaged in glass or aluminum, which can be easily recycled. But for water, we recommend purchasing a glass bottled water or reusing empty food jars for bottling filtered water from home. If you don’t have any on hand, this set of glass Mason Jars has a wide range of uses (drinking, potting plants, organizing, food storage, etc.) and is wonderful to have around the home.
6. COTTON BLANKET
A picnic isn’t complete without a blanket! Grab one you already own - it’s easy to turn an old throw blanket into a picnic blanket! Or if you're in the market for a new one, check out Seek & Swoon's sustainable (and washable!) throws made from recycled yarn.
7. NATURAL BASKET
Thrifted vintage baskets are the best, but if you need to grab one brand new, we love this beautiful woven rattan basket. Or leave no trace with this compostable Igloo Recool.
Once your picnic supplies are gathered, here are a few other tips you can implement to maximize the sustainability of your picnic:
- To reduce your carbon footprint, choose a picnic spot close to home. You can even have a beautiful picnic in your own backyard or neighborhood park.
- When choosing food for your picnic, stock up on plant-based options at your local farmers’ market. And don't forget your reusable bags! Preparing everything from scratch at home instead purchasing pre-made food from the deli or grabbing takeout from your favorite restaurant will help reduce packaging waste.
- Once your picnic is over, be sure to leave the space cleaner than when you arrived - pick up all trash, recycle, and compost your food waste.