It's the start of summer, which means food, travel and fun! We know that there are many festivities to look forward to this season and with that, many opportunities to incorporate eco-friendly habits. With that in mind, each week we are curating different guides on how to summer sustainably.
With the Fourth of July weekend right around the corner, we think it’s appropriate to start things off with our guide on BBQs.
Independence Day is famously known for campfires, s’mores, watermelons and most of all, BBQs! Here is a guide that will help to reduce waste and lessen your carbon emissions while still having summer fun:
Eat plants for the planet - It’s no secret that dining on plant-based foods is good for you and the planet. With a larger demand for plant-based foods, several companies are offering a variety of options that can replace traditional meat patties and dogs.
Try Chicken - If you would still like to offer a meat option, we recommend selecting meats with lower carbon footprints such as chicken. Like other meat options, chicken can be utilized into patties, sausages and other products.
Gas over Charcoal - There is something about grilling outdoors that feels quintessentially like the Fourth of July. If you choose to cook outside, we recommend choosing gas over charcoal. Gas grills emit less carbon emissions than charcoal grills and they take less time to heat up.
Shop for groceries locally - Support your local farmers and small businesses when purchasing produce and other goods. Not only are you supporting your community, but you are likely purchasing goods that are fresher, use less packaging, as well as minimizing the amount of fossil fuels used to transport the goods.
Reusable over disposable - Reusable dishware is always a winner in our book. By choosing to use the items you already have, you are avoiding the waste that comes from disposable dishware and cutlery. However, if you are opting for an alternative, we also recommend compostable disposable options. By collecting and responsibly disposing of compostable items, you still reap the convenience of disposable products while foregoing the waste.
Organize your waste - If you are playing host this Fourth of July, we highly suggest sorting your waste responsibly. By placing clear signs for trash, recycle and compost, you can take all the guesswork for your guests and same the time and hassle of sorting these items later.
Ditch the Saran Wrap - Leftovers are inevitable at big parties. Instead of wrapping remaining food in plastic saran wrap, use wax wraps or reusable containers. Wax wraps act in the same way as saran wrap, but they can be washed and reused.
Make your own ice - If you have enough freezer space, we recommend making your own ice. This eliminates the need to purchase plastic wrapped bags of ice at the store.
Bonus Guide for Fireworks & Decorations
There is something magical about fireworks on the Fourth of July. However, the repercussions of fireworks for air quality and pollution are dreadful. That’s why we do not encourage the personal usage of fireworks, as this disrupts the air quality and can also violate local noise regulations. Instead, we recommend enjoying firework demonstrations in public places or enjoying them virtually.
We’re big fans of being resourceful, repurposing, reusing and reducing. This is why we are all for DIY decorations. Instead of purchasing decorations that are likely going to be thrown away, we recommend using natural materials that can be composted or recycled. You can also utilize plants or flowers in red, white or blue to dress up a table. Food coloring can also be added to food and drink to add a pop of color and if you are running short on time you can ask your guests to arrive in Fourth of July colors.
We hope you found this guide helpful for your next summer BBQ. Happy Independence Day!
- Team Mediclo