It’s barbie season! If you’re getting your family and friends together for a BBQ this weekend there are some things you can do to make it an environmentally friendly one. Don’t worry, it’ll still be just as delicious!
Ditch the disposables
Disposable plates, cups and cutlery are a huge waste. Even biodegradable paper ones involve cutting down trees, so should be avoided too. It’s so much nicer to eat off real plates anyway!
Fancy up your napkins
Disposable paper napkins are also a huge waste of paper – why not have a fancy barbecue and use cloth napkins? If you’re not a white cloth napkin kinda person go rock & roll and use old bandanas (clean ones, of course!).
Meat production uses huge amounts of water, contributes to deforestation and loss of habitat for native animals, and is a climate change factor through methane emissions and industry CO2 production. So going vego is green in many ways. However, if you don’t want to give up the snags…
Buy local, organic, free-range meats
Finding local sources for your meat means less resources used on transporting the steaks from the farm to your BBQ. Organic meat’s better for you, free of unnecessary antibiotics and other nasties, and if it’s free range you know it was a happier animal.
Think local and seasonal
It’s not only greener and more delicious to choose fruit and veg that’s in season and grown locally, it’s often cheaper! See what’s at the supermarket or visit the producers selling at your local farmer’s market. Remember, fruit comes with its own natural wrapper – avoid anything that’s packaged in extra plastic.
Choose your BBQ carefully
A gas, propane or electric grill is cleaner than a charcoal one. If you do use a charcoal barbie, use natural lumps rather than briquettes containing lots of artificial chemical additives.
Make your own drinks
Fill a pretty glass drink dispenser with homemade lemonade, iced tea, punch or sangria to use fewer plastic drink bottles. When choosing your beers opt for a local brewery and buy growlers (or a keg if there are lots of you) and pour into real glasses.
Put out recycling bins
Even if you make your own drinks, your guests still might BYO bottles or cans. Make sure you have recycling bins out so they don’t end up in landfill.
Take public transport
If you’re planning a beach or park BBQ take public transport or ride your bike if you can. Do your bit to reduce emissions, reduce the number of cars congesting your city and you won’t have to stress about finding a park.
Clean up your mess
Divide up the leftovers to be taken home and eaten for lunch tomorrow, recycle anything you can, and put any little bits of rubbish in the bin so they don’t end up in the ocean.