Whether you are planning a romantic outing, hosting a soiree or using your own backyard for a meal outside, these eco friendly picnic baskets will ensure it goes off without a hitch! I don’t know about you but I love a good picnic and if you live in Ontario like me, who knows what will be open when! So, let’s get outside and have a little fun with a sustainable picnic.
When picnic baskets were first invented they were made with natural materials (straw) and handmade using ancient techniques. But as time has passed and with the invention of synthetic materials, they are more likely to be made from plastic. And you know what that means, they can’t be recycled and end up sending more garbage to landfills than we want!
Opting for sustainable picnic baskets made of natural fibers, that are sustainably sourced is a good place to start. If you read this blog often you know I am a big supporter of buying certain things secondhand, there are a ton of really great thrift stores that you can browse.
Antique markets, garage sales and online market places like Etsy, Facebook and Craigslist are good options too. So put on your best ethical summer dress, paired of course with your sustainable summer sandals or sneakers and don’t forget your hat!
Top picks for eco friendly baskets
If you are looking for a fair trade picnic basket look no further than Alaffia. This basket is lightweight, durable and so colourful. In West Africa, this basket is traditionally used to carry produce to and from markets or farms.
This basket is perfect for a day at the beach, pack snacks, your reusable water bottle and an eco-friendly towel. I also love the fact that there is a label sewn into it with the name of the woman who made it!
It’s made from wild-harvested Savannah grass. Savannahs are generally found between the desert biome and the rainforest biome. They are mostly located near the equator. The largest Savannah is located in Africa. Nearly half of the continent of Africa is covered with Savannah grassland.
There are so many beautiful details about this eco picnic basket. It’s handcrafted in Ghana over 12 villages where more than 5,000 female baskets weavers work their magic. When a basket order is placed, 90% of the cost is paid upfront. This gives the woman the flexibility to work at a pace that is comfortable for her needs, putting her family and social community duties first.
All of the woman cooperatives receive fair wages and health care for their families. All the baskets are crafted using indigenous skills and knowledge. The baskets are crafted in their own homes which the company adds:
“Because Alaffia collects the baskets at the weavers’ homes, the women do not have to sell their baskets at the open market as is the case for weavers that are not part of the Alaffia Collectives. This exchange empowers West African communities and preserves cultural heritage.”
Some serious picnic basket goals happening over here. I mean look at the details on Kazi’s hand-woven sustainable picnic baskets, they even have a lid. Made from elephant grass and dyed with organic dyes. So no nasty chemical here. At 13″ x 8,” it’s big enough to hold all your picnic essentials.
These delicately textured and handcrafted woven baskets are made by groups of women in intimate communities in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana in an ethical, fair trade environment.
Kazi is a Swahili word that means “employment, jobs, source of income” and was founded to alleviate poverty in rural Africa through the creation of gorgeous products all of which are handmade using sustainably sourced materials like sisal and sweetgrass.
Kazi is all about “training rural farmers to become artisans and teaching existing craftspeople new techniques and processes to continue to build upon their existing skill sets.” KAZI is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and implements fair trade practices across their organization and is available at Made Trade, one of the best amazon alternatives for all your ethical shopping needs.
Etsy really has it all when it comes to vintage picnic baskets. It’s easy to get lost in Etsy, there are so many cute baskets to choose from, some of them even come with dishes and cutlery, like the one pictured above. Just make sure when you choose one, it’s made from natural materials like organic cotton, wicket, grass etc.
Etsy is a great place to connect directly with makers, you can ask them questions and really get a sense of their company, you can’t always do this with large online markets like this. Now, not all the items on Etsy of eco friendly, that’s why it’s great to ask.
Etsy was the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from delivery and packaging. Now, every time you purchase an item on Etsy, they balance out the carbon emissions by creating a positive environmental impact.
Their ethically made picnic basket is hand-woven with willow and dye-free cotton and comes with all the bells and whistles. The basket features an eco-friendly set of 2 bamboo fiber plates, bamboo utensils, a bamboo cutting board, and 2 wine goblets made from recycled glass. I mean come on! You’re dreaming about it arent’ you?
I highly recommend a browse, you are sure to add something to your cart!
I’ve given you 4 really great selections but before you run out and buy something new, think if you can find it sometimes second-hand. Also, materials matter. Ask about the kinds of grasses used. How they were sourced? was it ethical and sustainable? and are the artisans being paid fairly for their work!
I’ve got a set of criteria related to ethical and sustainable fashion that you can apply here as well. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you plan the perfect picnic!
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