Environmentally Friendly Picnic Supplies

Environmentally Friendly Picnic Supplies

Enjoy the outdoors without trashing it

By Roxanne Webber

Eating outside is one of the pleasures of warmer weather, but all those disposable plastic cups and paper plates are kind of wasteful. Try out some of these greener alternatives for your next outdoor event, whether it’s PB&J and potato chips or an elaborate Mother’s Day picnic.

1. Cactus Tumblers. These are made by the Green Glass Company from the bottoms of reclaimed Sol beer bottles and are perfect for iced tea or a casual glass of wine in the park.

2. Recycled Tote Bags. A roomy tote doubles as a grocery bag. If you don’t already have one, check out these stylish options made from repurposed sails or rice and feed bags.

3. Palm Leaf Plates. These lightweight bowls and plates made from adaka palm tree leaves are biodegradable. They’re good for hot and cold foods, and, if you wash and dry them carefully, they can be reused a few times.

4. Preserve Tableware Pack. For a reusable but lightweight option, Preserve’s products are made from 100 percent recycled plastic and can be run through the dishwasher. This tableware pack includes small and large plates, forks, knives, and spoons and comes in your choice of green or blue.

5. Recycled Plastic Outdoor Rug. Why use an old blanket when you can picnic on this? It’s woven from threads made of old soda bottles and bubble wrap. Plus, because it’s plastic, you’ll stay dry even if you’re eating on damp ground.

6. SpudWare Utensil Set. A compostable alternative to plastic cutlery, these disposable knives, spoons, and forks are made from potato starch.

7. Recycled, Unbleached Paper Napkins. Reusable cloth napkins are best, but if you need to go disposable then opt for these from Seventh Generation.

8. Bamboo Bar Board. Slice crusty bread or cheese on this small cutting board, made from organically grown bamboo and water-based, formaldehyde-free glue.

9. Compostable Pint Cups. Just because they’re compostable doesn’t mean you get to toss them in the bushes when you’re done; like other bioplastics, these will decompose best in commercial composting facilities.

10. Organic Cotton Tablecloth. Fiberactive Organics handcrafts tablecloths in North Carolina using low-impact dyes and certified organic cotton.

Roxanne Webber is a senior editor at CHOW.