How to make your own plastic-free picnic kit

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 14 January 2018

We found a hardier, more eco-friendly kit for outdoor dining. Plus, this DIY picnic kit works out cheaper too. Under R700 for four people.


1. Palm Leaf Hessian Bag


It’s not your traditional picnic basket, but this jute and cotton shopper will fit all the kit featured here and has an inside zippered pocket to stash small essentials such as a box of matches or spices. Jute is a soft, shiny vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads and is one of the most affordable natural fibres next to cotton.


2. White Enamel Plate


Light, unbreakable and much more practical than a paper option, this shallow enamel plate by New World will hold anything from pudding to salad to a healthy serving of pap en sous. It’s easy to wipe clean and pack away too. (deep farm-style enamel bowls are also available for R14,99 each.) Only at Checkers Hyper stores.


3. Opinel No.8 Carbon Blade Knife


This good-looking knife with its classic wooden handle and comfortable grip has a sharp carbon blade that locks securely into place. Use it to share out the cheese and dice up the fruit, but clean the blade before packing away to prevent tarnishing.

Steal yourself The Opinel No. 8 also comes in a stainless-steel version at Outdoor Warehouse. R185,


4. Bamboo Chopping Board Small


The perfect size for travel, this A5 chopping board is great for slicing cheese and fruit, and the hard density of the wood means it’s almost maintenance free. This is because bamboo is more resistant to water so it limits bacterial growth and is less likely to warp or crack.


5. Stainless Steel Tumblers

R12.99 each,

These 300ml tumblers from Leisure Quip won’t break or rust and they stack perfectly together, saving space to pack more snacks and treats for your picnic. Pleasantly cool to the touch, they’re ideal to use in warm weather as they help to keep beverages cool.

Splurge: The Leisure Quip Stainless-Steel Wine Goblet is a great addition to this picnic set. R55 each,


6. Barbeque Bamboo Plate and Bowl

R29,99 (plate), R21,99 (bowl)

Made from bamboo powder, these products are safe for serving food and for the environment. Bamboo grows faster than other plants and trees so it’s a more renewable resource, and it’s compostable, breaking down over a few months. I love the plate’s fun braai design and the price tag for both (other bamboo plates and bowls don’t come as cheap).


7. Stainless Steel Cutlery Set


Take what you can from your cutlery drawer at home, but if you want to have a dedicated set for your picnic kit, these packs from Hillhouse Kitchenware include a fork, knife and spoon so you can buy as many sets as you need.


8. Love Cooking Waiters Friend


Even though most wines come with a screw-off lid these days, you don’t want to be stuck without a bottle opener. This Love Cooking stainless-steel combo is a budget buy that’s sturdy and can live in your picnic bag.


Awesome Extras

1. Stripe Picnic Blanket


This 1,2-metre square 100 per cent cotton canvas picnic blanket by Love Milo is stylish and has a water-resistant top. Waterproof backing means there’ll be no damp spots from the grass and if anything spills onto the blanket it can just be wiped clean. It rolls up easily and the leather strap holder is a super-convenient way to carry it. All the materials are manufactured in SA, helping to reduce carbon emissions too – buying local is better for the environment.


2. EcoSoulife Camper Set


This EcoSoulife Camper Set is made up of eco-friendly cutlery and crockery made from a mixture of biodegradable vegetable-waste matter: corn, starch, bamboo and rice husks. It comes with a mesh bag, easy to carry and dry off the set too.


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