PicnickingPicnicking is a great way to relax outdoors with family and friends. You can keep your picnic friendly to the environment as well. A "waste-free picnic" means nothing from your outing ends up in a landfill and all leftover materials are reused, recycled or composted. Check out these tips for creating your own waste-free picnic.

Bring reusable water bottles

Bring reusable water bottles

St. Louis enjoys some of the nation's best-tasting water!

  • Fill your bottle from the tap before you head out. Add ice cubes (the old-fashioned ones from water or the reusable ones) to keep your water cold.
  • Refill your bottle at drinking fountains, hydration stations or other taps with potable water.

Pack a waste-free picnic

  • Use a picnic basket or a reusable grocery bag.
  • Pack your food in reusable containers along with reusable utensils.
  • Use cloth napkins.
  • Recycle any beverage containers in designated receptacles throughout the park.
  • Consider composting any leftover food waste, such as fruit peels and cores.

Buy local

Buy your picnic food and supplies locally

  • Try some locally raised vegetables, meat, poultry, fruit, etc. 
  • Check your local farmer's market for the finest local grub.
  • Stock your cooler with a local brand of beer, wine or soda.

Be pest-free

  • Try herbal-based mosquito repellents available locally or online.
  • Avoid perfume, scented soaps and body products during mosquito season.

Leave no trace

  • Look around your picnic area and pick up all personal items and trash.
  • Recycle your cans and bottles.
  • Bring enough bags to efficiently dispose of your trash.
  • Do not dispose of ice in piles on the grass or planting beds. Spread it out or, better, let it melt first.
  • Leave your picnic area as clean as it was when you arrived

Respect your surroundings

  • Walk on paved paths and picnic only in designated grassy areas, not in planting beds.
  • Be mindful of the neighbors enjoying the area—both human and animal—especially as you arrive and leave.
  • Dispose of your recycling, compost and trash in the correct receptacles when you locate them.