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Zero-waste picnic. 100 percent summer fun.

Nothing says summer like taking a picnic lunch to your favorite park or beach. Here are tips to reduce waste when picnicking to help preserve our natural areas.

Before the picnic

  • Pack your items in a picnic basket, plastic tub, or cloth bag. No worries about bags breaking and losing your lunch!
  • Bring cloth tablecloths and napkins along with reusable plates, cups and utensils. Simply wipe off your plates with a cloth napkin when you’re done. A washable reusable bag works well for storage of these items when your picnic is finished.
  • Prep your food at home – that eliminates any extra mess at your picnic site.
  • Pack your food in reusable containers and use them to store your leftovers for a snack later in the day or to bring home for another meal.
  • If you have organics recycling at home, bring along a compostable bag to place your scraps in.
  • Pack your drinks in a thermos or cooler and forget the bottled water - a simple reusable bottle with water from home will do just fine. Skipping bottled water saves you money and the environment. If you are bringing alcoholic drinks, where allowed – don’t forget to bring reusable cups and glasses for those beverages as well!

After the picnic

  • Look to see if the park you are at has organics recycling containers for your food scraps and food-soiled paper products. 
  • Be sure to recycle those items that shouldn’t be placed in the trash. Bring a recycling bag if needed.
  • Encourage guests to bring their own reusable food and beverage utensils if possible to promote zero waste habits, awareness and a shared commitment.
  • Leftovers and trash - pack all of that back in your reusable containers and compost or dispose of it at home. That helps keep bugs and critters away from your picnic area while you enjoy the rest of your time at the park!

Leave your picnic spot cleaner than it was when you got there

  • Send the kids or adults on a litter pick up hunt while someone gets lunch ready, or while you are packing up your things.