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The Green Picnic Experiment

By Kelsey Abbott |
For unknown reasons, food that is perfectly tasty when eaten inside is amazingly delicious when eaten outside. Now, what if we tool our picnic and make it eco-friendly? Would the food taste even better? I bet it just might...
UPDATED: 05/24/11 | Originally Published: 07/13/09



Summer is finally on its way! At long last, we can wear summer clothes and walk barefoot in the grass without sinking into the mud. We can sit outside in the sunshine. Better yet, we can sit in the sunshine and eat. That's right, it's picnic season!

For unknown reasons, food that is perfectly tasty when eaten inside is amazingly delicious when eaten outside. Now, what if we took the picnic and made it eco-friendly? It certainly would be healthier for you and the planet, but would the food taste even better? There's only one way to find out — with the green picnic experiment.

Whether you plan to picnic on a beach, in a park, on a mountain or in your own backyard, "greening" your picnic is easy. Here's how:

Let's start with the basics. For the casual picnicker (or the picnicker on a budget), fill a washable cloth shopping bag with re-usable plates and utensils from your kitchen. For the lunch-break picnicker, try this stainless steel lunch box. If you're feeding a crowd, stock up on tableware made from bamboo or recycled plastic. Finally, for the ultimate picnicker, there's the eco-friendly picnic basket. This one, from Uncommon Goods, comes with bamboo plates and utensils, wine glasses made from recycled glass, and washable cotton napkins.

Now, what does one drink on an eco-friendly picnic? Water is always a good option — bring your own in a reusable water bottle like a stainless steel Klean Kanteen. If you're looking for something a little more exciting than water, consider environmentally friendly wine. Sustainable wine is often labeled as "organic" or "biodynamic" and is produced by vineyards around the world. For those of you who don't want to lug a heavy wine bottle with you to your picnic destination, Klean Kanteen also makes a lightweight stainless steel wine karafe.

Not an oenophile? There are plenty of eco-friendly beer options as well. Choices include organic beers like Peak Organic and beer from companies that do their best to minimize their impact on the environment like Full Sail Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company and Allagash.

Of course, we can't do this picnic experiment without food, so stock your picnic basket with local seasonal produce and other organic goodies, and BON APPETITE!


How do you make your picnics eco-friendly? Share your ideas below!


Share with Your Friends & Family
  • Elaine F. 4 years ago
    I recycle the trash.
  • Karen M. 4 years ago
    picnics are great use real dishes take home and wash
  • Grace A. 4 years ago
    The one picnic I anticipate attending this summer will be a Fourth of July picnic that is a potluck. So I will bring one putting on the dog dish to share--a red, white, and blue dessert--consisting of some sort of red fruit (maybe strawberries, maybe red watermelon cut up in chunks), blueberries, and a spray can of whipped cream--all arranged at the last minute on a new, disposable aluminum rimmed cookie sheet, to look sort of like an American flag. Not very green--but oh well, that is the one picnic I expect to attend.
  • Nancy H. 4 years ago
    work on the environment!
  • 5 years ago
    For a while now I have been doing exactly what you suggest.. I take washable everything with us whenever we go away and even though it takes a few extra steps I feel great that I am helping the enviroment! My mom and I have a compost pile and most days I have no trash at all! It makes me feel like I am making a difference in this world!
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