There are still a few wonderful, warm weekends left this summer and if you plan on celebrating with a barbecue or cookout, we’ve rounded up a few tips and ideas to keep the festivities green and eco-friendly.
Lay On The Gas: As the centerpiece of your outdoor event will likely be the grill, we suggest using a gas one instead of the kind that utilizes charcoal briquettes. The smoke created by the latter wreaks havoc on the environment, burning off plenty of greenhouse gases. The more efficient, environmentally-friendly way to cook out is by employing a gas grill that has a carbon footprint one-third the size of a charcoal grill. We like it!
Reuse and Recycle: A whole bunch of paper or plastic plates, napkins, cups, forks, knives and spoons creates a whole lot of waste that will sit in a landfill decomposing for a whole lot of time. Go green when it comes to serving pieces, cutlery and dishes! Use items you can wash or at the very least, pick biodegradable and compostable products.
Green Your Drinks: Instead of buying and handing out individual soda cans or bottles of water, serve beverages in large pitchers or glass dispensers to reduce trash and your carbon footprint. While you’re at it, label everyone’s glass so your guests don’t have to use more than one if their refreshments get mixed up. Here are some creative, DIY drink tags to help your friends remember if that was their lemonade or not.
Meat-Free Meals: Skipping the burgers and hotdogs will increase the eco-friendly factor of your barbecue. Meat production has a tremendous, negative impact on the environment, so by sticking to grilled vegetables, veggie burgers and grilled pizzas, you’ll serve up an earth-friendly feast that we promise won’t leave you longing for beef.
Banish the Bugs: Nothing ruins an outdoor meal faster than pesky, flying, biting insects. Take some organic precautions before your summer celebrations begin and ensure that those pests stay far, far away. Get rid of all the standing water around your home (it can inconspicuously collect in wheelbarrows, buckets, and rain gutters) and put out some plants that naturally repel mosquitos, such as basil, lemongrass, rosemary and garlic (which you can use in your meat-free menu!).
No-Cook, Summer Desserts: And for the grand finale, don’t forget the eco-friendly, no-cook summer desserts – straight from the Just Energy Blog earlier this month! These treats are sure to please and will keep you out of the kitchen and enjoying the festivities, all while living up to their no-mess, no-hassle, no-cook names!
Implement these ideas and you’re sure to have a fabulous BBQ-fest with a much-reduced carbon footprint, which is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!