Picnics with Less (or Zero) Plastic
You may be surprised at how much trash we generate from what might seem a low-impact picnic. Reducing picnic waste—especially plastics—is particularly important at a time when scientists are sounding the alarm about the buildup of small particles, or microplastics, in the Great Lakes
Zero-Waste Picnic vs Typical Picnic
Tips for a zero-waste picnic:
- Plan out foods that don’t generate a lot of waste. Finger foods make great picnic fare. Sandwiches, crackers, cheese and meats, whole fruit and vegetables, cookies.
- Bring an apple and an orange instead of a pre-cut fruit salad.
- If you do want a salad (greens, potato, pasta, etc), put it in a reusable container and bring your own reusable forks and spoons.
- Be creative in packaging: putting chips or crackers in a reusable container (versus a single-use plastic bag), or wrapping items in a cloth.
- Bring your own water bottle filled with water or a summer drink, like lemonade or tea.
- Bring plates you don’t have to throw away. Buy reusable plates made of a lightweight, less fragile material.
- Bring reusable cutlery, plates and glasses. You can encourage everyone to bring their own (which saves you on washing up); if you do, remember to bring some spares just in case anyone forgets.
- Make sure not to leave any trash behind, and recycle what you can.