With the right music, food, games, and guests, your summer BBQ could be the social highlight of the season. However, one aspect we don’t often think of when planning for our backyard bashes is how much plastic we use.
Single-use products such as plastic cups, plates, and utensils will be thrown away at the end of the day. Though we use them once, these plastic products will remain in landfills for hundreds of years, or end up back in our rivers, streams — and water supplies.
Beyond plastics, BBQs can, in general, be big waste producers. By making small changes to our summer party habits, we can eliminate a lot of unnecessary waste. There are plenty of simple steps we can take:
Plan for the number of people you’ve invited, and add about 3-5 people.
By taking an accurate headcount, you can prepare the proper amount of food. You’ll be able to feed your guests, have some leftover, and cut down on your food waste.
Use durable plates, cups, and utensils
Colored plastic plates for every occasion are fun. However, you can choose sustainable durable, inexpensive options in many retail stores to add a pop of color to your outdoor decor. These sturdier options will allow your guests to pile on more food, too!
Skip the disposable straws
Either go the no straw route or pick up a set of reusable metal straws. You can place these in your freezer before serving cold drinks to make your drinks as icy and refreshing as possible!
Bring your own reusable water bottle
Whether you’re attending an event or hosting, a reusable water bottle is always a healthier option. Plus, you’ll know for sure which cup is yours.
Opt for aluminum cans over plastic cups
Aluminum cans are recyclable, while most plastic cups are not. If you want to offer a soft drink option, set up recycling cans in the corner of your yard where guests can throw their garbage out and recycle their aluminum.
Put out a large pitcher
If you want to keep costs low or ditch the individual drinks altogether, putting out a few pitchers of different filtered beverages is always an option. You can choose from drinks like flavored waters, iced teas, and lemonades.
Use compostable paper napkins or washable cloth napkins
You can add to the theme of your party by choosing paper napkins. For smaller parties, cloth napkins are a great option as well and a more sophisticated element to your outdoor party.
Make sure to do a full clean up after the party’s over
The best way to eliminate waste at your BBQ is by doing a thorough clean up after the party’s over.
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