It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for backyard barbecues all across the country. Barbecues are a lot of fun, and they provide an excellent outlet to unwind and relax at the end of a long work week as well as an opportunity to come together as a family or even a community. Below are some creative ways to reduce or eliminate plastic from your backyard barbecues without sacrificing the fun.
Choose Your Food Carefully
Today’s modern grocery stores are filled with plastic-wrapped food items, and while one or two sheets of plastic might not seem like much, it can certainly add up with time. Rather than putting your fresh produce into plastic bags, bring your own reusable ones to the store. See if your grocery store offers biodegradable food wrappers in their deli section, too. If they don’t, ask them to look into it, and in the meantime, try to do the majority of your business with grocers that offer eco-friendly food packaging options.
Don’t Buy Disposable Dishes & Cutlery
With most barbecues, convenience is the name of the game. For years, people have been conditioned to expect paper and styrofoam plates, plastic forks and spoons, and even plastic cups for their beverages, which are also packaged in plastic bottles. Rather than spending unnecessary money on disposable dishes, use the real ones! If this isn’t an option for you, look into biodegradable plates and compostable flatware, instead. It’s more expensive than plastic, but it’s far better for the environment.
Offer Bamboo Flossers instead of Plastic
If you’ve ever been to a barbecue where the host offers toothpicks and/or flossers to their guests, you know what a relief that can be. When it’s your turn to host, you can skip the plastic and offer bamboo brush picks, instead! Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re also reusable. This way, your guests can hang onto their brush picks and use them again if they go back for seconds. What’s even better is that the cool bamboo handle is sure to spark up a conversation! Use that opportunity to spread the word about sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday plastic items.
Try to Go Trash-Free
If you really want to challenge yourself and your guests, spread the word that your barbecue is going to be 100% trash-free. Put it on the invitation and then stick to it. This means that nobody is allowed to throw anything into the trash, and if you so choose, you might opt to hide all the trash bins before the guests even arrive. You can ask your guests to bring their own supplies, but just in case someone forgets and shows up with a two-liter bottle of soda, remind them that they’ll need to take their trash back home with them at the end of the festivities.
Nixing plastic from your summer barbecue might be a bit tricky at first, but you’ll get better with some practice – and who doesn’t love the idea of a few extra barbecues? From choosing the right food from the start to asking your guests to avoid bringing plastic of any type, it’s 100% possible to throw a plastic-free get-together!