7 Ways to Make Your Red, White and Blue BBQ More Green
Happy Fourth of July Weekend!
The Fourth of July is one of our favorite holidays. What’s better than having a festive barbecue, spending time with friends and family, and enjoying the sunshine? If you’re planning on having a get-together, there are lots of easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and celebrate in an eco-friendly way. Here are our top seven tips for hosting an eco-friendly barbecue. Happy grilling!
- Minimize waste
Eliminate disposable plates, napkins and cups that will end up in the landfill and instead use washable dishes. If this is too impractical, especially with a big group, opt for biodegradable or renewable utensils. Instead of stocking your cooler with plastic water bottles, keep big pitchers of water on hand. They’re easy to refill and you can do the same with drinks like lemonade and iced tea.
- Eco-friendly decorations
Decorations such as plastic confetti and balloons are fun but wasteful and harmful to wildlife. When getting your red, white and blue, buy decorations that you can use year after year. Better yet, be creative and use decorations that you already have! If you’re buying flowers, opt for seasonal and local flowers.
- Reduce the environmental impact of your meal
The average household in the US produces about seven tons of carbon dioxide from their consumption of food every year. This can be easily reduced with a few eco-conscious changes! Instead of serving beef (one pound of beef requires 1860 gallons of water), opt for chicken, fish or a vegetarian option. If are too much of a hamburger lover, choose grass-fed beef, which typically requires fewer pesticides and fossil fuels than corn-fed beef. For vegetables and other dishes, use locally grown, sustainably raised, or organic ingredients whenever you can. Your guests will appreciate the extra effort and the rest of us appreciate the lighter carbon footprint required to source your ingredients.
- Grill with gas rather than charcoal
Grilling outdoors is great because it keeps heat out of the house, which reduces the strain on your air conditioner. The most eco-friendly way to grill is to go with gas. Although charcoal can come from renewable resources, it is extremely dirty when burned. Gas is much more efficient and has significantly less emissions, according to a study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy. If you’re a dedicated charcoal griller, use lump charcoal when possible. It’s a purer fuel that won’t impact any chemical flavors onto your meat.
Encourage your guests to walk to your BBQ instead of drive. If you aren’t hosting and are headed to a neighborhood event, pack up your rolling wagon and head over on foot– it’s a great way to enjoy the summer, get some exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Turn off the air conditioning
Give your air conditioning a break by upping the temp a bit. Guests will be outside and in-and-out so there’s no need to waste energy cooling your house.
- Encourage recycling
Make it easy for your guests to dispose of their BBQ items. Label your different garbage cans– recycling, compost and trash– and make it clear what items belong in each can.
Enjoy a great BBQ, and thanks for working to make your event environmentally responsible – the little things add up! If you’re interested in learning more about how to be involved in your community’s sustainable and smart choices, let us know. We’re also looking for passionate solar energy advocates– visit us at claruspower.com and connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org