With long holiday weekends and summer time many families will spending some time in the great outdoors cooking out. Many of us have greened our daily living routines and are choosing more eco-friendly products and habits but those green values don’t have to go up in BBQ smoke when we party and cook out.
Eco-friendly Drinks for BBQ
A cooler full of bottled waters and cans of sodas or cans and bottles of beer has been a long time staple during “cook out.” You can reduce the wastefulness of plastic water bottles and aluminum cans by serving pitchers of ice water, lemonade, ice tea or kid-friendly juices. These are healthier options for your guest and will save you money too.
Put out permanent markers for guests to write their names on their cups to eliminate waste.
If you’re serving bottled beer, canned beer or wine, or having a BYOB, be sure to put out clearly marked recycling bins so your party spirits don’t become landfill ghosts.
BBQ with Green Paper Products:
When we’re having friends, family and neighbors over for a BBQ, it’s not always possible to avoid paper products but today there are more eco-friendly paper products available. When you need to use disposable dishes, look for products that are recycled, biodegradable or made from unbleached paper products.
The well-known Solo brand has products that include both renewable and compostable options. Renewable paper-ware is made from bamboo, sugar cane, wood, reed and other natural materials. Compostable paper-ware is made from renewable sugar cane and comes in the hip and functional new square designs. These earth friendlier cookout options are available at Target. The square design is a hit with hostesses. It looks trendy and gives guests lots of room for loading up on your picnic foods.
Grill Green with Forest Stewardship Council certified Charcoal:
Hot dogs, hamburgers, shrimp, steaks or corn on the cob on the grill create a smokin’ BBQ menu but did you know that your choice of charcoal matters? Choosing eco-friendly Forest Stewardship Council certified charcoals ensures that no trees from endangered woodlands were cut to produce the charcoal for your barbeque.
Forest Stewardship Council certified charcoals also reduces greenhouse gases that are emitted when your charcoal burns. Even better for your family and your party guests, it means that no unhealthy additives are released into the air or onto your food during your grilling.
One example of certified charcoal is Cowboy Charcoal, a natural lump charcoal that can be found at Whole Foods stores and Lowe’s stores. Cowboy Charcoal produces a cleaner-tasting food with no petroleum after taste. Fewer ashes makes clean up easier too.
Green Family Projects:
Looking for a family project for the summertime, Labor Day, Memorial Day or 4th of July weekend? Consider a green project such as:
Starting a compost bin
Creating a water garden
Setting up rain barrels
Planting a tree
Planting native shrubs
Hanging laundry out to dry instead of using your dryer
Cooking on your grill or campfire, playing outdoors and not using any electricity
Participating in a road, trail or river clean up
Collect all of your old ink cartridges, old cell phones and electronic and check out these ways to recycle them and maybe earn some cash too
Everyone wants to relax and enjoy some time off over the summer holidays and with these projects can be your whole family can enjoy a fun filled “labor of love” for Mother Earth. It’s a great time to start new green traditions with your family as you celebrate together.