For many, Labor Day (whether you spell it with a “u” or not) marks the unofficial end of summer, the start of school days and busier schedules. Labor Day also serves as a day of recognition of workers and all those who contribute to the nation’s strength, prosperity and well being. If you’re planning a soiree to celebrate the end of summer and/or the nation’s labor force, make sure you organize an eco-friendly, green gathering. Below, we’ve got some excellent tips to keep your holiday carbon footprint small.
- Choose Local and Organic Eats: Food that is imported or shipped from the other side of the country creates a serious carbon footprint on its way to your local supermarket. Instead, put seasonal, local, organic bites on your Labor Day event menus. Shop your farmer’s market or neighborhood grocer that stocks only the freshest items grown or baked in close proximity. Maybe you can even walk over or take public transportation to pick them out!
- Buy in Bulk: One of the biggest environmental food fails is the proliferation of packaging. If you’re buying meats for the grill (organic, grass-fed meat, of course, and following our tips for eco-friendly grilling), choose larger packages and freeze what isn’t needed to use at a later date. The same goes for snack foods, condiments and drinks. Buy in bulk and prepare smaller lunch or snack portions in reusable containers. When you buy in bulk, less packaging is involved, which results in fewer contributions to the landfill.
- Ditch Disposables: Who wants to take the trash out?! Make this the event that creates the least amount of trash so no one is stuck taking garbage to the bins. Use your regular, washable plates and silverware and skip the throwaway paper or – horror of horrors – Styrofoam dishes. Disposable plates, utensils, cups, glasses and table covers eventually end up in a landfill, producing methane gas that contributes to climate change and taking hundreds of years to decompose (and there are some products which live on to eternity!).
- Get Outside: Weather permitting, coax your friends and family outside for some end-of-summer, warm weather activities. If guests are cooped up inside, it’s a huge energy waste – everyone wrapped around their cell phones, choking the WIFI or staring at the TV and blasting the AC. Splash in the pool, set up a game of football or break out the horseshoes or croquet set.
We hope your end of summer soiree is memorable, relaxing and earth-friendly! Even if you’ve created a carbon footprint that you’re less than proud of, make Labor Day the start of your new, sustainable lifestyle, and be sure to use these earth-loving tips for all your celebrations and parties.
Mark your calendar to check in with us each week for the latest Eco-Centric blog post, which is always chock-full of eco-friendly tips and information. We’re also sharing daily, green lifestyle tips and tricks on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow us!