Man-oh-man am I READY for some warm weather! And, warm weather means one thing SUMMER BBQs!!!
Growing up, summer BBQs were a right of passage and an integral part of summer vacation. Mom always made sweet tea, dad manned the grill, friends abounded, and *most importantly* a pool, sprinkler, and/or bathing suits were involved.
Now that I'm a bit older, I no longer run through sprinklers, but still, look forward to ringing in the summer with a big old fashioned BBQ.
Think, christening the grill, making a big batch of lemonade and sweet tea, and breaking out the cornhole boards.
As I've gotten older and started paying attention to waste, I never realized how wasteful these kinds of parties can be. A lot of outdoor events tend to gravitate towards disposable items that can be thrown away at the end of the party.
I wanted to give you a few tips to keep your parties low waste, but just as fabulous!
choose long-lasting items:
Now, I don't know about you, but when it came to parties, my mom went ALL OUT. For everything. Every holiday looked like it waltzed straight out of Southern Living and Martha Stewart.
The tablescapes and centerpieces had to be PERFECT. Since my family loved to entertain, we reused the same decorations year after year. You should see my mom's wreath collection on display in the garage. You will probably find yourself saying, "WOW. That's a lot of wreaths."
She invests in nice pieces, stores them properly, and then reuses them again and again.
When it comes to minimalism and zero waste it's really easy to forgo buying a lot of things, but if having something like a wreath collection that you change out for every month/holiday makes you happy and puts you in a good mood, then I say go for it!
The key is to invest in NICE pieces and then use them forever. This way you only have to buy it once which will ultimately save money, resources, and make your holidays look AWESOME.
upcycle what you have:
Some other great eco-friendly decor would be to upcycle old tin cans into beautiful lanterns or break out that mason jar collection I know you have and stuff them full of beautiful, local in-season flowers!
If you're looking for inspiration check out our Eco-Friendly BBQ board on Pinterest!
ditch the disposables:
Another key area of waste at BBQs is all of the disposables. People tend to lean into the disposable plates and red solo cups for parties, but I would love for you to switch to reusable items!
Now, we've talked about my mom and her meticulous party planning, yeah?
Since it isn't the safest thing to have kids by the pool with a bunch of breakable plates and glasses, growing up we had a set of BBQ plates which were all plastic.
They were reusable and made of melamine. We also had reusable plastic cups of course if you'd rather avoid even reusable plastic they make a stainless steel pint cups and plates.
In fact, when I'm attending BBQs I actually bring my own stainless tumbler so I don't have to use any disposables! I'm always complimented on it. :)
get the dishwasher ready:
Now, what's great about these items is that they're all dishwasher safe. Start your party with an empty dishwasher and then load up and the end of the night. Press a few buttons and when you wake up, you'll have clean dishes!
Of course, if you don't have a dishwasher, which I didn't for a LONG time, I just took my friends up on their offer to help me wash the dishes!
Friends always want to help. Everyone always asks, "Is there anything I can do?" And, being the modest hosts that we are we always say, "Of course not! I got it."
So, stop. Your friends want to help you so let them. Crank the music and have clean-up after party. In fact, dancing in the kitchen with my close friends after the party has officially ended have always been some of my favorite memories.
heavy on the veg!
When people typically think about BBQs they think about meat. But, I've got to tell you - grilled vegetables are the BOMB. So, go heavy on the veg!
If you read our last blog post, The Foodies Guide to Saving the Planet, then you'll know to avoid food waste and opting for more fruit and veg are great ways to make your BBQ more eco-friendly.
Pop on over to get all of our tips on eating for the planet!