For me the 4th of July always means a lively family BBQ with plenty of food, drinks and good times. In planning for the big shindig, I’m making sure to think about how to green up the party. Here are some ideas from Julia’s blog last year and a few of my own:
Go green with the dishes
Reusable tableware is a simple way to make your meal easier on the environment. Choose good quality plates, cups and cutlery that can be washed and reused. There are lots of options in ceramic, melamine and recycled plastic. If you must use disposables, look for paper plates made from 100% recycled paper or sustainable products like bamboo.
Throw-away plastic cutlery is made of harmful petrochemicals. Try more environmentally friendly options instead like bamboo or biodegradable cutlery. Though they look just like plastic, these utensils are made from a combination of potato or corn starch and vegetable oil, and can be tossed in the compost bin after use, where they take a mere 90 days to break down. Some companies also make biodegradable plates, cups and bowls.
Keep it local
The food and drink that is! I don’t want you thinking you have to turn down Aunt Hilda from Idaho. Summer is the best time to visit your local farmers market and stock up on all the fresh joys are great farms have to offer.
Contain the food
Packing your food in plastic wrap creates unnecessary waste- and it can lead to squished lemon cake (a staple at our 4th of July parties)! Transport your food in reusable containers. Basic food storage boxes are an easy and inexpensive option. You can also try stainless steel food carriers or anything with a secure lid.
Don’t forget to bring along a tablecloth to use for laying out your spread! A cotton or hemp tablecloth will add a bright, cheery touch to your outdoor affair. Stay away from paper napkins unless they’re made from 100% recycled paper — cloth napkins are definitely a better option. Up the green ante with linens that are made from 100% certified organic cotton in colors using natural dyes.
Keep it seperated
Put out both a garbage and recycling container in an easy to access location for your guests. You can let them know there’s recycling as you hand out cold beverages.
This isn’t necessarily greener, but hey I just think the 4th of July should be celebrated outside!