With Father’s Day, graduations, Fourth of July and many more opportunities for gathering in the backyard for a meal, its time to consider green summer entertaining.
That’s right – you can minimize the environmental impact of a summer party with these green party tips.
1. Switch from briquettes and lighter fluid to a gas grill or natural charcoal. Much less CO2 is released into the atmosphere, and let’s face it – lighter fluid is just plain toxic and dangerous to have around young children. In addition, commercial briquettes are soaked in cancer-causing chemicals and may char the food you are cooking because it rises to very high temperatures (also resulting in carcinogenic results).
2. Compost or recycle food scraps and peels. That’s right – it doesn’t take much effort and your yard or garden will thank you. Take those potato peels, corn husks and left over, half-eaten food at the end of your party and recycle them into rich fertilizer. Keeping leftover food out of landfills is a great way to go green and results in reduced releases of methane gas. Visit epa.gov/compost for tips and engage your children in composting this summer.
3. Shop local; shop organic. There is no better way to enjoy the sweet, fresh tastes of summer fruits and vegetables than by purchasing local and organic produce. Farmer’s Markets abound this time of year. Just visiting one of these community gatherings is worth the trip in itself. Avoid harsh chemicals, pesticides and commercial fertilizers and enjoy the best of nature’s bounty this summer.
4. Use washable utensils and dishes. Perhaps one of the easiest tips for green entertaining is to avoid single-use serving items, like utensils, plates, and glasses. If washing dishes after a summer barbecue sounds like too much work, at least go with biodegradable utensils and recycled fiber paper plates. Check out Biocorp and Chinet’s Casuals.
5. While you’re at it, use washable napkins and tablecloths. Paper is convenient, but it can blow away in a breeze and is not very eco-friendly. Go with cloth napkins and tablecloths instead. They work better, clean up quickly and don’t add to the landfills. Just remember to do your laundry on a cold wash setting, and hang to dry for the greenest results!
6. Solar garden lights provide eco-friendly ambiance. Don’t burn tiki torches or string electric lights along your deck. Solar garden lights give off a pleasing, soft glow and do not take any time or expertise to install. Simply put the lanterns where you would like lighting and UV light absorbed during the day will give you patio, pool, deck and/or garden lighting without any electricity.
Have any other tips for green summer entertaining? Be sure to share in the comments below?