5 Tips to Green Your Summer Celebrations

Grilling season is here! With the excitement of picnics, parks and parties, it can be easy to overlook that your Summer celebration may be creating more waste. The sales of paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and utensils, bottles and cans of beverages go up in the summer and so does the amount of waste in our landfills. Understandably, dragging your finest china and cloth napkins to the beach or park is not as convenient. However there are some other easy and effective ways you can green up your BBQ festivities. In no particular order, here are the Top 5 reasons and ways to green up your grilling:

Gas Grill or Charcoal: Natural gas or propane is the more eco-conscious of the two.  While eco-friendly charcoal exists, grilling with gas is still considered to be better for the environment and your health, particularly if you are the chef! You will want to prevent you and your guests from inhaling carbon monoxide and other toxic chemicals released by charcoal briquettes and lighter fluids. Don’t forget to cook with the lid down as much as possible to preserve energy.

Shop Local and Sustainable: When shopping for meats, veggies and fruits for your celebration, hit up a local farmer’s market, if possible.  At the store, look for meats and produce that are organic, sustainable and have not traveled too much of a distance. By supporting local farmers and green businesses you are helping support the local economy, reducing negative environmental impacts, and adopting healthier habits through eating more naturally.

Make your own beverages: Instead of juice boxes, bottled waters and other beverages, why not bring a couple of pitchers? You can fit a nice sized pitcher or two in a cooler, or make sure you have enough ice, and serve up some refreshing homemade lemonade, sangria or even just water! If you plan to serve beer, look into a keg instead. You can bring enough recyclable cups for your guests and provide them with name labels so they won’t lose their drink.

basketAvoid plastics and other disposables: If you don’t mind reusables, which really are most cost effective and eco-friendly, bamboo utensils and plates are great. Another, more unique option is to use reusable, cloth place mats instead of paper or plastic plates. Once guests are done with their meal, they can even wipe up with them instead of paper napkins…two in one! If you really feel you must purchase paper or plastic products, find those that are biodegradable, recyclable, made without bleach or dyes, etc. Whatever you do to lessen the carbon footprint you make will help in some way.

Lastly, bring a separate container or bags: preferably in a different color, and encourage all your guests to help take care of the Earth by recycling!

~This article was originally featured on Green Deals.org

 

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