Zero waste picnic: classy not trashy

Zero waste picnic/BBQ/party. Make it classy, not trashy

In summer everybody is enjoying being outside, having picnics and BBQ’s in the park or at the beach. 
But have you noticed the huge amount of trash being left behind after such events?  Lets make this summer classy and not trashy.

It is not only about reducing what we are sending to landfill, it is also about having a nice and clean surrounding. If the summer season is here and everybody is enjoying to be outside a lot of trash is appearing too. 

  • Single use ice cream spoons, straws, cutlery, cups, plates.
  • Snack wrapper, ice cream wrapper, food packaging.
  • Lids and bottle caps.
  • And even more cigarette butts than normal. 

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Zero waste picnic essentials


The easiest way to avoid single use disposables is to bring and use reusables.
If you are invited to a birthday party or picnic where you don’t know if they provide reusables or if you know they only provide disposable, bring your own cup, cutlery, plate and water bottle. 

If you are planning a party yourself, ask around in your neighborhood (a few days/weeks before) if someone has or could collect jars for you, so you can offer your guests reusables to drink from.

Same with cutlery, if you don’t have enough, ask friends or buy some cheap reusables in thrift stores/op shops. If you can/want, ask your friends to bring reusables to the picnic/party. And explain why.

Bring your reusable cup and spoon to the ice cream shop if you don’t like or can’t eat cones (gluten).

Cigarette butts

And if you are a smoker and there is no bin close by, please collect your butts in a pocket ashtray or something else (match box) and dispose properly.
If it will be a big party, or if you are organizing a few events a year, do some research if there is a place that does recycle butts. Terra Cycle offers Zero Waste boxes for Cigarettes too.

I also created a small video about this topic. If you like to watch videos check it out here 🙂 or just continue reading…

Tips to prepare food for picnics, BBQ’s and parties:

  • Buy the products you need package free or plastic free.
  • Bring your reusable bags for fresh produce shopping. 
  • On markets and organic stores it is easier to bring your own container for cheese, meat, deli, salads etc.
  • Make fingerfood. This way it is easy to avoid the cutlery 😉
  • Transport everything in your reusable cotton bags.
  • Use jars or reusable container for salad, tofu, meat.
  • Use glass jars for dips, dressings, snacks, etc.
  • Get some unwrapped bread from the bakery and wrap it into a cotton cloth/bag
  • Make your own stuff, like bread, hummus, pesto or snacks to avoid prepackaged food.
  • If you are ordering a cake or cupcakes from a bakery you can bring them reusables before or when you are picking it up. Just tell them you are bringing reusables so they won’t prepack them.

Tips for going to a BBQ, festival or beach party

Bring your own reusables too… If it is a festival where you need to go through security, leave stainless steel stuff at home. They might not be allowed because of security reasons.

Bring reusables made of other material: a bamboo spork, bamboo or paper plate, (or any other reusable container) a reusable plastic cup/bamboo cup for drinks and a paper straw/stainless steel/bamboo straw if you like to drink smoothies, etc.

Sometimes they offer freebies like really cheap sunnies, flyers, plastic stuff, balloons, sweet drinks in plastic bottles. You can just refuse them if you don’t want them and if you want to make your visit a zero waste/minimal waste visit. Refusing free stuff is the hardest part sometimes.

But if you really think about it:

  • is the sweet drink really something you want to drink (think about the ingredients;).
  • would you use the colorful cheap plastic stuff after the festival, or do you throw it away?
  • Or will it just lay around somewhere? 

Level up your lifestyle 🙂

For me it is not only about the waste, but also about the taste. Drinks out of glass, ceramic or stainless steel, food from real forks, and from a ceramic/stainless steel plate tastes just so much better. And it looks much better too 😉

Enjoy all the summer days that are coming! And make some happy choices.

Find your favorite zero waste essentials here -> Zero Waste Basics

Classy vs trashy...what would you choose is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We are also affiliate partner for other programs/stores like shareasale,, etc. 

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