Sustainable tips for a Summer BBQ
Despite the occasionally grey and wet weather, summer days are definitely here. With warmer and longer days, the urge to invite family and friends over for a party or barbecue is ever present. Have fun but at the same time give a thought to how we organise such gatherings and be eco-friendly.
Here’s how to throw an eco-friendly summer party in your garden or patio.
- Send an e-invite
Forget the card invite. Either just give a phone call or if you are orgainsing something on a bigger scale, an e-invite either through the email or facebook will save paper and hundreds of trees. E-invites make for easy tracking of your RSVPs and quick updates of your event for your guests too.
- Decoration – stay away from one-time use decorations and keep it natural.
Go natural and make use of greenery and flowers found in your garden.
Use fabric reusable banners and choose paper pom-poms over helium balloons.
Go for candles made from soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based wax. Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residue and are no good for your health or for the environment
And if your party extends beyond the long summer days, use LED lights both indoors and outdoors. LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times to 100,000 hours when used indoors. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights on the strand you use to decorate your garden or patio burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit.
- Food - think local and waste not
Buy locally-grown, seasonal and organic food, from your local farmers' shop or market where possible. Organic cucumbers, zucchini and watermelon make inexpensive and healthy side dishes. Try frying zucchini drizzled in chilli powder and olive oil.
Make your own BBQ sauce and save yourself and your guests from the unhealthy high in sugar and preservatives off thr shelves BBQ sauce. To make your own sauce - add one can of chopped tomatoes, 75 ml unsweetened apple juice, 2 tbps brown sugar, 1 tbps apple cider vinegar and ¼ tsp tabasco sauce to a pan and heat until boiling.
Plan the amount to avoid unnecessary wastage. If you have catered for more than you need, do not serve the whole lot to avoid contamination. Portion the food to freeze and use for future meals.
- Tableware – disposable or reusable?
Reusable tableware is definitely better than plastic disposables. Not only do we do our bit for the environment but we also save ourselves the frustration of eating out of flimsy tableware that cannot hold a full plate and often leaks.
But running the dishwasher or the washing machine and dryer for cloth napkins will also contribute to emission of gases and water wastage. Not to mention the hours spent in front of the sink and kitchen
Here’s an eco friendly convenience - use 100 percent biodegradable foodware such as Element.
Element 100% biodegradable foodware is made from origo, a bioplastic made from non-GM corn and yam starch. The process of making Element is 72% more carbon efficient than traditional plastics, such polystyrene. With the correct disposal, it biodegrades after 90 days producing a non-toxic hums waste that can be used as fertilizers.
Not only is Element a friend of the planet, it is of high quality, leach-proof, non-toxic, freezable and microwaveable tableware. Element can be reuse up to three times.
What’s more, Element foodware comes in vibrant summery colours from citron yellow, rose red to lime green and forest green to complement your party theme and the summer mood.