Skip to main content
Lawns Open Today
  | Open 12 PM – 9 PM | visit >
Lawns Open    Lawns Closed

Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 9 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days and during wet conditions.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

Have a Plastic Free Park Day this July!

Jul 1, 2023 | Community, Sustainability

Have a Plastic Free Park Day this July!

July 23, 2020Cladrastis kentukeaAmerican yellowwood

Over 1,500 pounds of trash and recycling are collected daily in Madison Square Park. A majority of this waste accumulates in the afternoon when neighbors and tourists visit the park to enjoy lunch. Luckily, there are many actions you can take to reduce plastic waste when visiting the park. 

Before your next park day, review these tips for reducing single-use waste, and challenge your friends, family, and co-workers to make every visit plastic-free. 

Preparing for a plastic-free park day starts at the store. 

When shopping for your picnic lunch:

  • Buy only what you need. Review what you already have at home to avoid buying items you already have. 
  • Look for options without plastic packaging. If buying produce, use reusable mesh bags or a bag you already have at home.
  • Buy in bulk whenever possible. This cuts down on packaging and is often more affordable. 

When packing for the park, avoid single-use items. 

  • Replace things like straws, cups, mugs, water bottles, cutlery, plates, and napkins with reusable options. 
  • Replace plastic baggies with reusable containers or beeswax wraps
  • If you can’t avoid single-use items, opt for aluminum cans over plastic bottles 

If cooking isn’t for you, and you decide to pick up your lunch, consider restaurants that participate in programs like DeliverZero so that you can receive your meal in a reusable container that can be returned to the restaurants to use repeatedly. 

If that’s not an option, choose to refuse single-use items at the take-out counter and use your own silverware, napkins, and condiments from home. 

If you’re planning a celebration in the park, avoid balloons and streamers and decorate with paper lanterns or even fresh flowers instead. Borrow what you can, and share decorations with your friends when you are done with them. 

Are you bringing your pet? Use compostable dog bags, which break down after disposal, unlike
plastic bags. 

Use these tips to enjoy a memorable afternoon in the park while reducing waste. Challenge your friends to do the same!

Plastic Free July is made possible by our sponsors: Amazon and The New York EDITION.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom
Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom, Narrated by Brooke Kamin Rappoport