Are You Ready For a Picnic?

Guest Blog Post By: Kathryn Kellogg, Going Zero Waste

Do you love your lake? Of course you do!


Long summer days, fresh fruit, and cannon balls into sparking, cool water - what could be better!? We spent every summer at the lake. My mom would pack a picnic, my dad would drive the boat, and my only job was to devour the snacks and not drown. The hot afternoon sun would dip behind the lake, and I would beg my mom for just one more lap in the water. She would typically oblige, only to be pleaded with for just ooooonnnnneee more! Sound familiar? 


As I’ve grown up, I still love the water. My ideal summer day is spent picnicking on the lake. I don't know if I grew up or things changed, but all I see is trash. 


Plastic overflows out of campsite trash cans. Cups and straws litter the shoreline. Fish and wildlife are dying from eating and being trapped by our garbage. Long gone are the days of my mom’s homemade picnics. Long gone are the days of simplicity. Replaced, instead, with the all mighty god of convenience.


Other than cigarette butts, the biggest polluters are coffee cups, plastic food wrappers, and single-use plastic water bottles. And, we can easily fix this! I want to challenge you to skip the drive through on your way to the lake and pack a picnic.

3 Ways to a Less Wasteful Day at the Lake

  1. Bring a real water bottle! You don’t need single-use disposable water bottles. There are so many reusable options out there, some even keep drinks cold for 24 hours. I would pack 1.5 for each person going. Just, so you have backup! My boyfriend and I both have stainless steel water bottles that hold 32oz. If we were going to go somewhere all day, we’d pack three. Backup never hurts. Often times campsites have water fountains where you can fill up too. If you're really worried about running out, buy one massive 2 gallon water bottle to fill up your reusable ones. 
  2. Invest in a to-go mug. To-go coffee cups are one of the most preventable and wasteful items. You actually need water, you don’t need coffee. If you don’t have a cup with you – skip it. Keep a travel mug in your car so you’re always prepared! Most coffee shops give you a discount for bringing in your own cup. That’s a win, win.
  3. Pack a non-disposable picnic in reusable containers. We have a picnic basket that is filled with plates, cups, and a big blanket with plenty of room for sharing. Below is a list of my favorite picnic items! I like to keep it easy. All finger food and nothing that takes a lot of prep time. You’ll be able to pack your picnic and be out the door in 30 minutes!
  • Fresh Fruit: Watermelon and oranges are great. They come in their own skin, and make the perfect snack for a hot day. 
  • Hummus Platter: Homemade hummus is SO easy. Blend cooked chickpeas with olive oil, garlic, and tahini. And, you can flavor it any way you like! I bring a sampling of cut veggie sticks bell peppers, carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
  • Baguette: I chop it into four pieces and tie it up in a cloth napkin. Everyone can take turns ripping off chunks of yummy bread!
  • Meat and Cheese Platter: Sometimes I’ll stop by the deli and get salami, roast beef, or pastrami to go. They’ll put it straight into my two layered metal tiffin. Meat on the bottom and a sampling of cheese on the top. We like havarti and cheddar.
  • Cookies: You have to have something sweet! Cookies are the perfect finger food for a lake day.

There you have all the makings for a delicious, easy, and waste free day at the lake! Show your love for the lake and choose to reuse



We have a winner! Congrats Rachel Garner you will receive an EcoSouLife picnic set!


This eco picnic dining set is made from vegetable waste from corn, starch, bamboo and rice husks. It is a sustainable product that naturally biodegrades once buried in the ground. This eco friendly picnic tableware set contains 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 cups and a 24-piece cutlery set.

Kathryn Kellogg writes a successful blog "Going Zero Waste" where she details her zero waste life. All of her trash for the past year and a half fits in a 16oz mason jar. Her blog focuses on waste reduction tips, seasonal recipes, organic cleaners, and DIY beauty. You can follow her on Instagram at and check out her blog at

Write a comment

Comments: 20
  • #1

    lisa rumolo (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 07:17)

    your picnic sounds delicious! I do all 3 of your tips in my everyday life. Love the picnic set!

  • #2

    Brittany Parzych (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 07:39)

    These are great tips! We try to keep to reusable as much as possible, even in our daily lives, so it makes sense to continue those habits in a picnic.

  • #3

    Marya Mann (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 07:50)

    This is such a wonderful and inspiring post. I do my best at being green but I know there's more I can do to improve. Thanks for your wonderful tips! I'll keep them in mind on our next picnic trip

  • #4

    Ashley G (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:25)

    I have never tried the baguette tied in cloth napkin I will have to try that. Your picnic sounds yummy and makes me want to have one today.

  • #5

    Veronica Iris (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:40)

    Love all of the tips, Thank You!

  • #6

    Megan Drane (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 09:04)

    Love the tips! I recently bought Klean Kanteen for all of us. The insulated ones keep beverages hot or cold for very long periods of time. The uninsulated ones keep beverages colder longer too.

  • #7

    K Richardson (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:13)

    I love your idea for the meat and cheese platter. I have done meat and cheese for quick meals and as a platter for a party, but I hadn't thought about it for a location picnic. Thanks!

  • #8

    Shelley Hickey (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 12:50)

    I hope this blog post encourages more people to care about the Earth and it's other inhabitants. People have become selfish and lazy.....sad :(

  • #9

    Nicole Deardorf (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 13:52)

    This is such a wonderful and inspiring post. I do my best at being green but I know there's more I can do to improve. We try to keep to reusable as much as possible, thanks for your wonderful tips!

  • #10

    Ceri (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 14:52)

    I liked this article so much I found your pinterest board and started repinning things! Thank you for all the ideas!

  • #11

    Noreen (Tuesday, 31 May 2016)

    Don't forget the cloth napkins

  • #12

    Beverly Kennedy (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 15:57)

    Great tips. Picnics are the best. Especially healthy and sustainable ones.

  • #13

    Monica Miller (Tuesday, 31 May 2016 21:19)

    We were gifted a beautiful wicker picnic basket replete with cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, wine glasses, cutting board, cheese knife, salt and pepper shakers, a blanket and room for all the food! We take it everywhere with us. It has been there for our engagement, a wedding anniversary, and this summer our first picnic as a family. We try to pack waste-less lunches and we always pack out our trash. Let's keep this planet clean, together!

  • #14

    Melissa Coria (Wednesday, 01 June 2016 09:05)

    I love picnics!

  • #15

    Rachel Garner (Thursday, 02 June 2016 21:21)

    Reusable water bottles are a necessity in my house! Oranges and other fruits with their own "container" are a great idea for a picnic!

  • #16

    Magdalena (Thursday, 09 June 2016 15:11)

    Great tips!

  • #17

    Samantha Fay (Tuesday, 14 June 2016 12:54)

    I would love to have everything stated here even the food!!!

  • #18

    Treen Goodwin (Wednesday, 15 June 2016 15:36)

    Awesome tips ... we love picnics on the beach and park !

  • #19

    Amanda Jordan (Wednesday, 15 June 2016 20:56)

    Great tips some of them we already live by but some we need to adopt.

  • #20

    Jamie Steel (Friday, 17 June 2016 08:59)

    Every beach trip is better with a picnic -- these are some great ideas and I can't wait to put them into practice!