How to Plan an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Picnic

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than in the beautiful outdoors? It’s the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and remind yourself why it’s worth protecting. We can all try harder to incorporate “greener” lifestyle habits into our daily lives. Everything from eliminating single-use plastic to recycling unexpected items are impactful steps toward preserving the planet.

How will you celebrate Earth Day? Whether it’s a day trip to a state park or a scenic group hike, we love the idea of organizing an outdoor activity. And what goes great with outdoor adventures? An organized picnic to refuel, relax, and socialize. Keep scrolling for tips on how to plan a picnic that’s both fun and sustainable!

Pass on Plastic Straws

Plastic pollution is a massive, world-wide problem. The Last Plastic Straw, a movement to eliminate single-use plastic, reports that 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States alone. You can be part of the solution by eliminating plastic straws from your picnic supplies. There are tons of stylish, sustainable alternatives (like Aardvark Straws!)

Incorporate Eco-Friendly Picnicware

Created with fallen leaves, Bio & Chic offers a compostable palm leaf plates that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. And though finger foods can totally eliminate the need for utensils, Joanne Hudson’s Eco Disposables line offers a practical alternative for any heartier dishes.

Reusable Supplies

Reusable supplies not only minimize the risk of leaving behind trash, they also encourage impromptu picnics anytime! Items like cloth napkins, cloth bags, reusable food containers, and a picnic blanket can substantially reduce waste.

Paperless Invites

We love the idea of inviting your friends and family with a thematic, outdoorsy design. Digital stationery companies like Greenvelope offer the perfect alternative to traditional paper invites. Plus, there a tons of helpful features like RSVP tracking and a Details Page where you can list information about parking or a specific meeting place. Browse Greenvelope’s full collection of outdoor-inspired designs here!

How to Plan a Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Picnic

Think Local and Organic

Support your nearby farms and the environment by sourcing local and organic ingredients for your picnic menu. And if you’re planning a picnic that’s more potluck-style, encourage your friends and family to do the same!


Carpooling is one of the most sustainable ways to travel and depending on your location, parking might be limited. Encourage your family and friends to ride along with another person when possible.

Earth-Friendly Games and Activities

Whether it’s a frisbee made from recycled materials or a corn hole set made from reclaimed wood, there are tons of earth-friendly games. Also, be sure to check out this list of outdoor activities by Born to be Adventurous for inspiration!

Leave it Better Than You Found it

Hopefully any leftover waste from your picnic will be minimal. If you do have trash, be sure to take it out with you. Though sharing leftover food with nearby animals might be tempting, especially for little ones, keep in mind that it can have a negative impact on natural habitats. Use this as a teaching moment and to learn more about how to engage with wildlife in a safe and healthy way. The Humane Society has some great information here!

How to Plan an Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Picnic