Disposable is convenient, but our picnic reminded us of the virtues of reusable plates and silverware. They instantly make an event feel more special, they don’t blow away, and they don’t snap in the face of cutting a crisp apple. Of course, they’re better for the environment, too.
Plates Avoid ceramic. It’s heavy and breakable. We used vintage pie tins, but you could also use melamine (hard plastic) plates.
Silverware Because pieces have a habit of going missing at picnics, the simplest and cheapest route is assembling a mismatched but full-of-charm set from thrift stores or garage sales.
Cups We like the retro look of aluminum camp cups, mugs or glass jelly jars, but if you want drinks to hold their temperature, go for insulated plastic.
Cleanup The last obstacle is dragging it all home. Our solution: Just bring a big plastic lidded tub where people can deposit their dirty gear. When you get home, throw it all in the dishwasher. Don’t forget you will still need trash bags for food wrappers and bottles.