Ten Tips for How to Host a Zero Waste BBQ or Outdoor Party
If you are trying to be more environmentally responsible and are concerned about your personal impact on the environment, hosting backyard parties and bar-b-ques can be a nightmare when you consider the laundry list of waste they produce: paper plates, plastic cups and leftovers that go bad before they can be eaten.
Even if you can only apply some of these tips to “green-ify” your event, you will be helping to reduce the environmental impact from your party more than you know.
Check out our list of 10 tips and tricks for hosting a great (and green) summer bash!
Are you up for the challenge????
**We want to see your party!!!**Send pictures of your fresh ideas and your own ‘Zero Waste BBQ Challenge Party’ to firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the summer! We’d love to see your success!
1. Use Waste-Free Party Invitations
When planning a zero-waste outdoor party, avoiding paper invites is best, as sending them through the mail makes for the usage of more fuel and a bigger carbon footprint for your gathering. Not to mention, it eliminates the need for paper waste altogether.
E-mailed invitations are the way to go to these days, so don’t hesitate to invite guests via email or even social media to eliminate unnecessary waste.
If e-mail and Facebook are too impersonal for your event, try invites printed on plantable seed cards that are made from recycled materials. This adds the extra summertime touch of allowing guests to plant the invitation after adding the party to their calendar!
2. Avoid Packaged Foods
Buy and serve fresh foods to your guests. After all, fresh fare on the grill is part of the joy of outdoor entertaining.
Food packaging can add to the accumulation of waste at your intended ‘waste-free party’. If you have no choice but to purchase packaged foods, make sure the packaging is recyclable.
Try shopping for your menu at the local farmers market, and don’t forget your reusable bag!
3. Avoid Bottled Water/Beverages
Instead of purchasing water in disposable bottles, serve water infused with lemons, oranges, limes or cucumbers in a large re-usable glass drink dispenser.
These are attractive, affordable and easy to find. Try browsing Walmart or Target!
Your guests will love the look and taste of the water flavored with summery fruits or vegetables!
If you intend to serve adult beverages, you can also serve pre-made simple cocktails, “hard lemonade”, sangria and even wine in these dispensers- fun for guests and green for you!
4. Try Renting Your Supplies
Here are just some examples of party supplies you can rent from most party rental companies:
- Tables and Chairs
- Tablecloths and napkins
- Drink dispensers
- Cold beverage containers
- Plates, bowls, drinking glasses and coffee cups
- Dining and serving utensils
Or you can…
5. Use Compostable Utensils and Plates
These plates, bowls, cups (and more) can be placed directly into your backyard compost bin, or local composting location after the party, which makes cleanup a breeze and ensures that your party will send less waste to your local landfill.
6. Use a Cloth Tablecloth and Re-Usable Decorations
This may seem like a small point but it can make all the difference in the atmosphere! There’s something about a tablecloth that makes any dinner look stylish and beautiful. Try jelly jars or old wine bottles as flower vases for the table. Get creative for a breezy and eclectic summer vibe!
7. Metal Skewers are Useful and Versatile
Use these grilling staples for vegetables and meat. You won’t have to soak them ahead of time or deal with splinters in your food. Use little metal skewers instead of toothpicks to serve finger foods then simply wash and reuse.
8. Use the Two Bin System
Place a Single Stream Recycling receptacle next to every trash can at your party. Odds are if you give your guests the option to recycle next to the trash, they will properly choose the correct container for disposal of their waste.
9. Remind Guests of Your Zero Waste Plan
Telling everyone about the “Zero Waste BBQ Challenge” you are trying out at the event will make your guests feel involved and challenged themselves! Don’t be surprised if they are eager to help and even offer some suggestions on how to stay green.
10. Send Leftovers Home With your Guests
(*in re-usable mason jars!)
You will be reducing waste and they will be happy to have seconds for later. If you can’t convince them (unlikely!) be sure to compost any leftover food scraps.
As always, Thanks for Reading!