As summer comes to a close, the kids go back to school and football season begins. Labor Day is an opportunity to get together with family and friends for some outdoor fun and one last summer celebration.
Sometimes outdoor parties can become a place for waste, but there are ways to be “green” that are fun, easy and don’t have to break the bank. Here are a few simple ideas to do your part for Mother Earth this Labor Day.
1. Buy Local Food
Buying local is not only the best way to get the freshest food available, but it also helps out the local economy. Check out some of your local farmer’s markets or find a local farm to buy your seasonal, organic fruits, veggies and grass-fed meats. Buying local helps farmers in your area and gives you peace of mind that what you are buying is the real deal.
Check out LocalHarvest to find a nearby farm or farmers market.
2. Green Your Grill
Charcoal grills and lighter fluids can be carbon monoxide and chemical powerhouses. If using a charcoal grill, choose natural charcoal, which is essentially charred wood, or wood itself, as it will give off a much cleaner burn.
Although they are a little bit pricier, ceramic grills can also be a viable green option, as they maintain a constant temperature better than traditional metal grills, thus using less resources.
3. Dine With Reusable Dinnerware
Reusability is key to a successful green dinner. While being green isn’t always the easiest, it is the most rewarding, since there won’t be a big garbage bag full of trash at the end of the party.
Try using cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, as they are less wasteful and just require being laundered. Reusable silverware and plates are a great way to keep waste down, but if you must use disposable silverware, try biodegradable “plantware” and dinnerware. These are made from fallen leaves and plant-based materials, making them completely compostable and guilt-free.
Ditch the plastic cups and opt for mason jars with chalkboard labels that you can customize with each party-goers name. These can be taken home by your guests as party favors, saving the environment and saving you on dirty dishes.
4. Use Natural Bug Repellent
Bugs can be a pain when outdoors, so having a good bug repellent is a must. Pick natural insect repellents like citronella, which you can find in easy-to-use candles and oils, or try a do-it-yourself insect repellant like this summery scented lemon eucalyptus mosquito repellent.
Fun outside doesn’t have to mean no fun for the planet. Just use the above tips and enjoy a green Labor Day party!
For more on how to make Mother Earth proud, check out these tips.
Sources: http://www.justenergy.com/blog/your-green-summer-bbq-green-grillin/ http://www.projectgreenify.com/post/59589694076/7-ways-to-have-a-great-green-labor-day-party#.VdI1GFNVikp http://www.justenergy.com/blog/make-it-a-green-labor-day/ http://www.treehugger.com/green-home/9-tips-zero-waste-entertaining-summer.html