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Eco-Friendly Barbecuing!

One of my favorite summertime activities:  BARBECUES!  Who doesn't love sitting in the backyard with their friends and family, sipping some cold lemonade, and chowing down on corn on the cob grilled just so?  

It's actually really easy to throw a green barbecue!  If you want to make your barbecue a little more eco-friendly, here are some tips:

  • When it comes to grilling solar-powered ovens and stoves are the best. This isn't the most realistic, however, since these stoves are expensive and difficult to find. Gas and electric-powered grills are greener options than charcoal. If you have a charcoal grill, opt for lump coal instead of briquettes or seek out natural options.

  • Do away with plastic flatware and paper plates. If you're having too large of a gathering to use reusable plates and flatware, look for compostable and/or biodegradable alternatives.

  • Clearly label your recycling bin for recyclables such as beer bottles.

  • Make a bin for compostables, such as corn cobs and husks. Use unbleached napkins and encourage guests to toss those into your compost as well.

  • Buy as many local food products as possible. Same with beer and wine, too!  Even better: serve stuff from your own garden, if it's in season!

  • Instead of soda, make your own beverages to serve in pitchers. Fresh-squeezed lemonade always goes over well. Also, now that we've been pureeing our own baby food, I've been puree-happy, so at our last barbecue I pureed strawberries to mix in with our lemomade...voila! Fresh strawberry lemonade! Iced tea is a great option, too. Don't forget to compost the tea after brewing!

  • If you have kids and plan to partake in some water fun (such as running through the sprinkler or a Slip & Slide) make sure the water is turned off once the kids are done. Better yet, set up a kiddie pool and after the kids are all done, use that water to water your garden! (Provided nobody pees in the pool, that is!)

  • Okay, it ain't pretty, but whenever we throw a party I try to check our regular garbage cans after everyone leaves. Inevitably, a few beer bottles always make their way in there.

  • Encourage your guests to follow your green barbecue guidelines, too.