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Reusable Items You Should Pack For A Zero-Waste Picnic

Stay sustainable!

With many parks across Canada open to the public and summer in full swing, picnics can be a safe and fun way to enjoy the season with your bubble, or while keeping physically distant with your non-bubble group.

Whether you’re celebrating Canada Day or simply enjoying a meal outside, cleaning up after yourselves is a must, but why not go a step further and pack a zero-waste picnic instead?

We’ve found some eco-friendly items to set up a summer picnic that can be reused over and over.

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Single-Ply Unpaper Towels

How To Pack A Zero-Waste Picnic

Reusable towels

Picnics can be messy (hello, juicy watermelon and burgers with all the fixings!), and while there will always be spills, using conventional paper towel creates unnecessary waste.

We’d much rather use an eco-alternative, such as the single-ply cotton flannel (and aptly named) Unpaper Towels to efficiently mop up spills. After you use them, bring them home, rinse, wash, and reuse!

Or, better yet, bring cotton cloths, tea towels, or an old rag to mop up spills.

Stemless wine cups

Amp up the romance on your picnic with some sparkly bubbles, and sip from your BPA-free Swig Stemless Wine Cup (obviously you can drink non-alcoholic beverages, too) or bring your own re-usable cup.

This pretty portable cup keeps things cool (for up to nine hours), or hot (up to three hours), while still being comfortable to hold, thanks to its double-walled, copper-coated insulation.

Post-picnic, the cup, lid, and straw all pop nicely in the dishwasher for an easy clean.

Picnic blanket

We’d consider this Stray & Wander Roundie blanket the ideal picnic blanket — its Turkish cotton weave makes it lightweight and quick-drying, so even the littlest picnickers can help out by carrying it to the park.

We love that this ethically made, 100 per cent organic blanket gets softer with every wash and can be used as a throw, a wrap, and an indoor blanket (we lay ours over the couch in between picnics) once the weather cools.

Lunch bag

This cute SoYoung lunch bag is the perfect size for a “me-time” picnic for one or a snack break for two. It has ample space for containers in a removable insulated insert as well as a mesh back pouch to carry your cutlery, wipes or straws — we paired it with a co-ordinating non-toxic and condensation-free SoYoung ice pack with washable pouch to keep our goodies cool.

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Made from a PVC-, BPA lead- and phthalate-free linen blend, this chic bag features an adjustable shoulder strap perfect for hands-free travel — we love the ease of it for a bike ride to our favourite picnic spot, or even worn as a cute day purse.

Eco-friendly tote bag

Made from sugar cane-based bioplastic and durable enough to hold several pounds of picnic essentials, this minimalist basket is the perfect carryall for your summer feasts or farmers market hauls. Bonus: the easy-to-clean surface makes post-picnic sanitation a breeze.

Seal-tight reusable bowl

This blush pink leakproof durable glass bowl from the W&P Porter collection is a picnic must-have. It’s the perfect size for berries, crackers, and single-serving salads or grain bowls and even transports hot soups thanks to its protective silicone wrap and air-tight seal.

Microwave- and dishwasher-safe, it doubles as a household container to store and enjoy leftovers!

Reusable straws

Help save wildlife and skip single-use plastics once and for all — Unwrapped Life has you covered with reusable stainless steel straws in Instagram-worthy shades of gold, rose gold, and onyx.

Aesthetics aside, these beauties are worth it — they won’t rust or break and are dishwasher-safe. Each pack of four includes a cleaning brush and a linen storage pouch.

Reusable sandwich bags

These Pantone hued Stasher silicone bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes for all your picnic needs. We fill ours with snacks and keep others to bring home our used cutlery and Unpaper towels.

The bags are easy to clean; just toss them in the dishwasher after using. Not just for picnics, Stasher bags are also microwave- and freezer-safe — you can even pop a frozen meal in the bag into a pot of boiling water to safely defrost and heat.

Bamboo cutlery

Say a solid no to plastic disposable cutlery and invest in one of these reusable sets from East Van Bees instead.

This set, which includes sustainable bamboo fork, knife, spoon, straw, and chopsticks, is naturally antimicrobial and durable — just make sure to hand wash and dry to extend the life of this perfect picnic essential.

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