Barbecues are the epitome of summer fun, but they can generate a lot of trash and waste. This year, while sporting your red, white and blue, why not add in some green too? When planning your upcoming summer barbecue, follow these easy tips to not only have a great barbecue, but also help the planet.
Recycle those plastics: One of the easiest ways to go green is to recycle your waste, so be sure to put a clearly marked bin out at your party. If you opt for disposable dinnerware, remember that those plastic plates, cups and utensils can be recycled too! Check Earth911 for more information if you are unsure about what can be recycled in your area.
Revamp the menu: Go local this Independence Day with seasonal fresh veggies and fruit from your local farmers’ market. It helps cut down on transport emissions and supports your local economy. Also, keep an eye out for locally sourced beer—this way the sip-worthy suds don’t have to be shipped from far away or overseas. Reusable plastic containers and insulated coolers can help store food safely in transport to your party or to preserve leftovers after the festivities.
Make it an outdoor affair: The number one way to avoid added costs to your electric bill this Fourth of July is to utilize the outdoors and host a party in the yard or at a park. Plastic plates, cups and flatware—even wine in shatter-resistant plastic bottles—are safer to use outdoors than glass that might break, and many can be recycled after the party.
Close the loop: If you’re feeling really adventurous, go a step beyond recycling your plastics and use plastic cutlery, cups and place settings made from already-recycled plastics for your barbecue or picnic. There are some really cute options out there; just remember to keep those recycling bins available for anything you’re not going to reuse!
Get creative: Rather than buying a new centerpiece for your party table, why not make your own? Check out how to make these beautiful vases from re-used plastic containers .
Save and reuse: After the party’s over, take the time to store and save your decorations. You can use them again next year, which helps to save on a bit of unneeded trash.