Make your picnic "waste free"

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

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.

9 to 10 a.m.

Shoenberg Theater    Plenary Address
Educating for Sustainability and the Missing Human

Dr. Akpezi Ogbuigwe
Download pdf [6.15 MB]

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.

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Shoenberg Theater    Panel (PD, TL)
Staff and Student Exchanges for Professional Development and Learning
Douglas Needham, Longwood Garden
Download pdf [3.55 MB]
Ed Schneider, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Download pdf [4.41 MB]
Yuri Naumtsev, Botanical Garden of Tver State University
Download pdf [15.2 MB]
Beaumont Room    Panel (CE, SV)
Working with Communities to Improve Well-Being
Liliana Derewnicka, BGCI
Download pdf [1.2 MB]
Phil Pettitt, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
Download pdf [5.81 MB]
Haijia Chu, Wuhan Botanic Garden
Download pdf [565 KB]
Armand Randrianasolo, William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden
Download pdf [7.26 MB]
John Collins Onyango, Maseno University Botanic Garden
Download pdf [5.78 MB]
Kemper Classroom    Workshop (TL, SC)
The Science of Taste: A Sensory Approach to Botanical Education
Ashley DuVal, Shoots and Roots Bitters
Download pdf [3.57 MB]
Spink Gallery    Technology Showcase (TL, TE)
Interactive Taxonomic Key for Identification of Urban Trees in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Flavia Faria, Museum of Natural History and the Botanical Garden of the Federal University of Minas Gerais
Download pdf [3.83 MB]
    Technology Showcase (TE, CE)
Community Mapping: Changing Perspectives and Shifting Norms
Sheila Voss, Missouri Botanical Garden
Download pdf [1.37 MB]

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.