Bluedot-Approved Picks for Perfect Picnics



“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

Few outings bring me more joy than a proper picnic. The word alone conjures core memories: bouncing back and forth between my parents on the back lawn, getting engaged on the Santa Barbara coast, reciting Shakespeare with friends in Central Park every summer. A picnic isn’t just eating outside on a blanket; it’s an occasion. A chance to spend time with nice people, wear a frilly dress or seersucker shorts, enjoy little sandwiches and fresh fruit, see if you can still do cartwheels. It’s a rare opportunity to turn away from technology and look into blue skies, face warm breezes, and feel the grass under your feet. Heaven.

Sadly, not all picnics are dreamy. Picnicking accoutrements often generate a great deal of waste from the likes of disposable plates, glasses, cutlery, tablecloths, and napkins, not too mention leftovers. But Bluedot Living is here to help, with a list of attractive, thoughtfully made items that will help you picnic like a pro for years to come. 

Bluedot Living’s BuyBetter newsletter features items we believe in. When you make a purchase through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

a woven green picnic basket

Vintage Picnic Baskets on Etsy

When it comes to packing for a picnic, a cooler with good ergonomics might make the most sense, but a vintage picnic basket definitely has the most style. We also love the romance involved in wondering: Who had your basket before you, and what did that picnic-goer put in it?


A woman and toddler on a striped picnic blanket

Nomadix Towels and Picnic Blankets

Towel, blanket, and gear company Nomadix has a slogan we just love: “Own less. Do More.” This Climate Neutral Certified, 1% for the Planet member makes all of its textiles from recycled plastic. It diverted nearly 17,000,000 plastic water bottles from landfills in 2022 alone.


A white table set with plates and napkins in warm, muted tones


Food52, a Brooklyn-based digital media company, was founded in 2009 to share the absolute best version of any given recipe each week. It’s grown into a formidable food site, community of food enthusiasts, and e-commerce platform with a selection of gorgeous goods for home and kitchen.

A pile of medium and large plates arranged in alternating patterns of gray, black, and brown colors on a white background.

Tarhong Planta Outdoor Dinnerware

At first take, we thought that Tarhong’s super chic Planta dishes had to be ceramic. Then we read “lightweight” and “shatterproof” and thought they must be melamine. And then we realized that it’s even better — they’re mostly made from plant-based materials, including bamboo powder and cornstarch.

A cardboard box labeled Thrive Market, with non-perishable snacks and groceries in and around it

Thrive Market

Blue Dot marketplace editor Elizabeth tries to shop local whenever possible, but loves ordering from Thrive Market, a subscription-based, carbon-neutral online grocer and Certified B Corporation. Thrive’s “well-designed site and in-depth filters really let me shop my values,” she says, making it easy to find, say, cruelty-free, biodegradable cleaning products.

A woman stands in a field of yellow flowers wearing a lightly colored checked dress.

Christy Dawn Dresses

Christy Dawn’s dreamy, “farm-to-closet” dresses have many fans here at Bluedot. One editor enthuses that “their easy-breezy, super feminine clothes just make you feel like a girl.” The signature, vintage style comes not just from the sketchbook, but from the dress-making process as well.

A woman's legs in white pants and a pair of bright-red, two-strapped Birkenstock sandals


Birkenstock, the German footwear company that will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2024, has done a remarkable job of keeping up with the times. Birkenstock offers an astounding array of options, including vegan leathers. We love the way we can always depend on these long-lasting sandals.  

Three bottles of non-alcoholic wine, two white and one rosé, with labels reading Giesen New Zealand

Boisson Alcohol-Free Beverages

Over the last few years, Americans have been drinking less. Boisson, a retailer with the motto “The Glass Half Full,” has emerged to help non-drinkers, the sober-curious, and everyone else find something new. The store offers a wide variety of low-ABV and alcohol-free beverages that still feel decidedly adult.

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Bluedot Living Magazine is a sustainable living magazine and website with locations throughout North America.
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