Generally, you should plan to use what you have first and re-use where you can. It doesn’t need to be perfectly matched to enjoy your outing. If you don’t have anything on hand, we have some suggestions to help build your reusable lunch containers.
Sandwich Bag Alternatives
Traditionally, sandwiches are stored in one-use plastic baggies. The problem with this is that each day there is a large amount of bags being thrown away by every kid and adult. These plastic bags are neither recyclable nor compostable so the effect on the environment fills up our landfills and increases our environmental footprint.
If you have glass or plastic containers that you can put the sandwich in, this is another option because it can be used many times and many of the containers are recyclable when they reach their end of life.
We recommend reusable sandwich bags that we cleaned at the end of the day before reusing.
You can also choose a beeswax wrap. This is material coated with beeswax which keeps its form and can be washed with water and a little bit of soap.
Eco-Friendly Picnic Drink Containers
You can’t have a picnic without drinks because it’s likely you’ll need to hydrate. It can be a fancy drink or water but you still want to plan for it.
Although it may be easy to grab a case of water or soda or drink boxes from your grocery store, think about the long-term effects these one-time-use options have on the environment. Many may be recyclable, however, we cannot always easily dispose of our recyclable garbage while on the go. Also, many recycling plants are not able to process all of the items that go through it.
This brings us to options that can be used many times before disposal.
First, based on your menu and the types of drinks that you will serve, consider what will travel best.
Our double insulated bottles will keep your drinks at the appropriate temperature, whether hot or cold, for up to ten hours.
If you want to serve individual drinks, we have stainless steel wine glasses that travel very well without concern for breakage. They can also be used for juice, water, or sodas. The Altus Advantage Stainless Steel Tumblers also have a lid to reduce spillage or bugs getting into your drinks.
There is one-use plastic cutlery. You can try to wash and reuse them but they have a tendency to break and you’d likely only get a few uses out of them.
You can bring your own stainless steel cutlery but there is a chance to lose them and this option will add weight to your picnic basket.
We recommend the Altus Advantage Bamboo Utensils. When you handwash and care for them they will last for longer than any other option. When you are done, they are 100% compostable.
The beauty of organically grown bamboo is that it contains zero plastic. It’s vegan, stain-resistant, anti-microbial, and PETA certified.
How To Pack An Eco-Friendly Picnic?
Now that you’ve assembled everything you need to feed your party, let’s find a container to carry it in. The first option would be to look around and see what you already have at home. This could include a portable cooler, a wicker picnic basket, or perhaps a canvas tote bag.
Whichever you choose, don’t go with the plastic bag option! They are more likely to break on you and do not make for an eco-friendly picnic. If you don’t have anything on hand, check out our Go Green Beach Bag. This lined, canvas bag can carry up to 44 pounds.