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How To Pull Off a Zero Waste Picnic

Picnic Basket Set


Eat together and play in the park without waste by packing a zero waste picnic basket and throw plastic-free parties, sustainable soirees and eco-friendly events.

What’s the secret to showing up with a single-use-free picnic basket? We share some inspo, tips and easy shared nibbles recipes for keeping picnics as plastic free as possible.

Picnics can equal loads of single-use plastic wrapped snacks, conveniently sliced portions in plastic trays, and single-serving salads and sandwiches in plastic bowls or wrap.

With a bit of prior thought and planning when you have the time, or pulling out a few tricks when it’s a last-minute picnic, they can be kept pretty plastic free.

PLANNING A ZERO WASTE PICNIC

When you have time to plan, you can prepare most things for the picnic at home beforehand and pack in or borrow reusable picnic wares for the picnicking party.

Stock up on snacks from bulk bins or make your own vegetable chips (basically slice thinly, pour oil over, sprinkle with salt and bake (or try this banana chip recipe) and crackers (easy homemade plain crackers recipe here), for example

  • Make your own dip, spread, salad dressing, and/or some hummus put it in a reused jar.
  • Buy bread, bagels or rolls in a bread bag and slice at home.
  • Get deli items like olives, cold meats and cheese in your own container.
  • Buy packaging free produce and cut up into slices and sticks.
  • Pre-make your lunch and/or a platter or salad to share at home and put in a container or just a bowl covered with a beeswax wrap or fabric cover.
  • Pack in reusable cups, plates, napkins, and cutlery from home for yourself or everyone.

LAST MINUTE PLASTIC-FREE PICNIC

How can you avoid the convenient plastic packaged picnic picks at the supermarket and a drive-thru lunch that comes with lots of litter?

  • Check the fridge for leftovers and the pantry, fruit bowl, and your food plants for any available snacks.
  • Quickly whip up some bliss balls.
  • Make some popcorn to take with you.
  • Throw your reusables in your backpack (if they aren’t already in there) - water bottle, cup, container, napkin and cutlery.
  • Pick up some unpackaged fruit.
  • Get some takeaway in your own containers to take.
  • Get a coffee in your reusable coffee cup or a smoothie or other drink in a reusable cup (or choose a drink that comes in a glass bottle)

LIST OF EASY SHARED NIBBLES RECIPES

Looking for a quick and easy recipes for homemade snacks and dips you can whip up yourself and share with others while lounging on a picnic blanket?

Here’s some easy shared snacks and dips ideas and recipes you can make to make your outdoor gathering home cooked and single-use packaging free:

  • hummus (find our fav recipe here) paired with cut carrots and celery
  • falafels (use bulk bought chickpeas instead of a can in this DIY falafels recipe if you can or have this homemade dried falafel mix in your pantry ready for quickly whipping up falafels anytime - you can also buy this at some bulk food stores)
  • homemade flatbread, all you need is water, salt, flour, and olive oil.
  • salad dressings - simply chuck the ingredients into a reused glass jar and shake! - from a simple olive oil, balsamic and salt combination to a creamy cheesy tahini, lemon and nutritional yeast dressing option or a balsamic, cinnamon, cumin and coriander dressing, depending on the salad.
  • popcorn with toppings of your choice made from kernels and spices/toppings bought from a bulk food store.
  • bliss ball recipes and variations so you can use whatever is in your pantry and fridge.

Story by: reusable nation

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