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9 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 – we’re talking about 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. To help offset our environmental impact, we’ve put together a list of 9 ways to have a sustainable 4th of July BBQ.

Consider Organic Meats. 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 local farms that care for the environment.

Offer Vegetarian Options. 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. 

Buy Fresh Fruits & Vegetables. Seasonal produce travel fewer 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 like 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.

Use Reusable Plate & Silverware. Such as reusable or biodegradable plates, cups, and plastic utensils (or ones made from recycled materials). Or ask guests to BYOD — Bring Your Own Dishes.

Buy in Bulk. If you plan to have a big party, buying food in bulk is not only cheaper, it reduces the amount of product packaging and wastes too.

Separate Your Trash. Have a different bin for trash, recyclables, and compostable (see what you can compost here – if your city has the option).

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 leftovers home. 

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.

Cheers,
Jennifer

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