Maybe you simply didn’t have enough time this year to think about it. Or maybe you’ve already gotten so many biodegradable plates, composting bins and other eco-hookups for your Fourth of July shindig that you feel you can’t possibly get any greener. Wait! Here are a few super simple and practically free ways to make your BBQ, beach bash or rooftop gathering more about celebrating and less about waste. Uncle Sam would be proud!
1. Instead of using paper or plastic cups, have your guests bring their own favorite cups.
This way, no one will forget which cup is theirs and cleanup is a breeze for you because everyone just brings their own drinking receptacle home! You can take it one step further and ask one person from each party to bring their own tupperware to bring scrumptious leftovers from the party home instead of having to throw them out. Positive reinforcement is always a good educational tool!
2. Tell caterers and takeout places to make it “Eco to go.”
The simple phrase was created as a way to communicate to restaurants that you would like minimal packaging, condiments and utensils. The more people use it, the more food vendors will know that they have to get on board, so let your favorite spot know about it the next time you order! Better yet, make a homecooked meal for your next event – that way you won’t have to fake the funk by dusting flour on your face when your guests arrive.
Image credit: modified photo from Giolou’s Flickr photostream
3. Serve tofu pups and garden burgers instead of meat.
They’re better for the environment and you! These are a great excuse to take in less calories if you’re watching your weight and everyone I know who has tried them has said they actually taste pretty darn delicious.
Cost: $3-4 a box on average
4. Turn off the AC indoors while your party is going on outdoors.
This one is a no-brainer. You’ll save energy and money!
Cost: –$ (the amount it costs you to cool your home for a the length of time the party is going on)
Image via PaulEisenberg’s Flickr photostream
5. Ask guests to carpool or walk to your party.
A great way to get people to oblige? Remind adults that the less cars there are, the less (responsible) drivers are needed.