Green Picnic Advice, Please!

Ed and I will be hosting an Open House coming up on August 23.  It’s going to be a big picnic, with our families and friends, and we’re going to be showing off our progress on our house.  We officially began building our house in late August of 2006, so the party will be just about on the house’s second anniversary.  While there’s still a “short list” and a “long list” of things to do to finish our house, we feel like we’re finally at a point where we want to show it off!  Not to mention, the plants are looking so good that the idea of an outdoor picnic is great!

While I’m getting advice from both my mom and Ed’s mom about the food and decorations, I’m looking for some blogosphere advice on how to have a GREENER picnic.  So far, I’ve found some good tips from  Crunchy Domestic Goddess in her post about her daughter’s eco-friendly birthday party.  But I’d LOVE to get some advice from YOU, too!

Here are the steps I’ve taken so far to “green” our picnic planning:

  • order biodegradable plates, utensils, and cups made of sucarcane fibers instead of plastic
  • since it’s summer, I’ll use the best local foods available, including corn on the cob, tomatoes, fruit, and other veggies grown by my family, and clams that Ed and Chris will catch, to round out the traditional picnic fare
  • big coolers of water, lemonade, iced tea, and a keg will help to reduce the bottle and can waste
  • we’ll borrow Adirondack chairs and patio furniture from family for seating outdoors, in addition to quilts on the lawn for a real picnic feel

So, if you have some advice about anything picnic-related, including food, decorations, minimizing waste, entertainment for adults and kids, or anything else you can think of, please leave a comment!

Oh, and let’s just hope the weather’s better than this!!!



Filed under Home, Outside, Sustainable Living

7 responses to “Green Picnic Advice, Please!

  1. Love your choice of enviro-friendly plates, etc.! Also, the idea of quilts to give it a country picnic “feel,” and you won’t have to worry about having enough chairs.

    You might want to put out your recycling bin so guests can just toss appropriate items in there, rather than in the garbage. Bulk drinks will cut down on cans, bottles, etc., also a great idea.

    Now I do love games . . . what about wiffle ball, hula hoop contests for kids and adults alike? Old-time sack races and potatoes on spoons? I have run field day at school, you know! I’d be happy to help. I’ve nixed water balloons, though, too much mess and not environmentally safe. But you know, most people will be happily entertained by enjoying your beautiful new home and visiting with other guests! I’ll be happy to help in any way possible!

  2. What a beautiful home, Abbie!! How lovely. I’d be happy just to be given a tour and some time to soak in the setting. I wouldn’t need any sort of entertainment.

    I’d second the idea for recycling and compost containers.

    Also, what are you doing for silverware? Maybe try to do all finger foods so you don’t need it. Otherwise, you’d want to get your hands on some reusable. Is there a party rental place or could you borrow from family?

    Have a great time! I’d crash the party if I wasn’t on the opposite coast.

  3. Check out Crunchy Domestic Goddess’s post about throwing eco-friendly parties:

    Good luck! I wish we could make it, but by being there in spirit, we’re reducing the carbon footprint of your party! =)

  4. farmersdaughterct

    Mom- Good ideas for activities for the picnic! And I know you’re going to be helping a lot! I’d also like to borrow some of your recycling bins to place strategically around the party.

    GB- We’ve invited over 150 people, so to simplify things, we’re going to do biodegradable sugarcane silverware. I thought of going with all real plates and silverware, but it’s just too much for such a big party. And YES, our families are that big! And I’d be honored to have you crash my party anytime!!!

    GM- I saw that post, it’s full of good advice. Right, right, carbon footprint, blah. I’d still be happier if you guys could make it 🙂 But I understand, you don’t see me hopping in the car to drive to Virginia, haha.

  5. Jon

    I suggest that you encourage everyone at the party to eat a lot and then use your bathrooms. That way your septic system in the back yard can do some natural fertilizing.

  6. farmersdaughterct

    Haha! Jon, that’s a great idea 🙂

  7. Can the sugarcane pieces be composted? If so, put out a container for composting leftover food on plates AND the plates. Signs, of course, will be necessary on the containers. Might be good to put one at the end of the spread, too, to plant the seed in their minds as they carry off their heavily-laden plates.

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