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10 Ways to Have a Sustainable 4th of July BBQ

It’s a beautiful day and staying indoors is not an option. On one of the biggest day for BBQ-ing in America – huge cookouts, backyard bbq’s, parade celebrations, and tons of fireworks – the 4th of July is possibly one of the most hazardous “celebration” to the environment too. Here are 10 ways to have a sustainable 4th of July BBQ.

Go Green with Meat. Organic meats are raised more sustainably on smaller farms. This year, buy organic meats, grass-fed beef, or — if you live around one — purchase meats from a local farms that care for the environment.

Offer Vegetarian Meals. Did you know it takes 4,000 gallons of water to produce 2 pounds of beef? On the other hand, it takes half of that amount to produce vegetation such as tofu, lettuce, tomato, corn and olives combined (just to name a few). So offer a variety of vegetarian dishes – it’s better for your waist, better for the environment. 

‘Tis the Season to Buy Fresh. Seasonal produce travel less miles, are more natural to the environment, and fresher for you too. Seasonal summer fruits and vegetables include arugula, cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, corn, apricots, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, melons, lemon/lime. 

Grill Responsibly. We support gas grills because they produce half the amount of C02 compared to charcoal. However, if you love the aromatic smoky flavors of charcoal, opt for wood chips (mesquite), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified Charcoal, or coconut shell charcoal.

A Clean Grill is a Happy Grill. Granted cleaning your grill before barbecuing is something most people already do, as a bonus to better flavor, a cleaner grill produces less smoke and less pollution.

Reduce the Amount of Waste Created. Buy reusable or biodegradable plates, cups, and plastic utensils (or ones made from recycled materials). Or ask guests to BYOD — Bring Your Own Dishes.

Bigger is Better, Buy in Bulk. If you plan to have a big party, buying food in bulk is not only cheaper, but it reduces the amount of product packaging and waste too. Make sure you don’t go crazy and over buy. That defeats the purpose of sustainability.

Practice Smart Waste Management. Have bins out for glass bottles, soda cans, plastic containers and compost piles (see what you can compost here). Don’t give people the chance to throw away valuable recyclable items.

Bring Reusable Food Containers. Party favors? Say no more. No need to waste plastic or styrofoam plates and tin foil. Have guests bring their own containers to take home leftovers. 

Encourage Carpooling. Who doesn’t love a free ride to a food fest? Tell your friends to carpool to your 4th of July BBQ to lower the amount of C02 emissions per trip.

Happy grilling,
Jennifer

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