Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time for getting together with family and friends. It means that summer is on its way, the kids are getting ready to finish school and neighborhood pools are officially opening. It’s also an ideal time to have an outdoor picnic or barbecue that supports your eco-lifestyle!
Since most people have Memorial Monday off, the 3 day weekend leaves many options open for celebrating the holiday. One option that you should consider is learning how to have a green Memorial Day weekend. If you can make this weekend eco-friendly, then you will be reducing the carbon footprint of everyone who shares in your festivities.
Here are some green steps that you can take before, during and after the picnic:
Before the picnic….
- Get rid of any stuff that has accumulated in your yard by donating it to thrift store, or let it be reused when you sell it on eBay or Craigslist.
- Mow your grass with an old-fashioned push mower or an electric mower. Gas mowers are more expensive, and they also leave a huge carbon footprint.
- Purchase an electric grill powered by wind energy or a solar powered grill to have the most eco-friendly cooking experience with your food.
- Clean off dirty lounge chairs or other outside patio furniture with green and natural cleaning products instead of using toxic chemicals.
- Instead of going to a grocery store, support your local farmer’s market. Walk or bike to it to reduce your automobile emissions. Or, if you have a garden, pick your own organic ingredients from it!
- Want to keep pesky mosquitoes away from you while you eat? Lather on some organic bug spray and repellant. You can also leave a cup of sugar water away from the crowd and bugs will flock towards it instead of you.
- Use biodegradable utensils, bowls and cups (or reusable ones are even better) to create less waste for your local landfill. Have guests write their names on the items so that they can be reused.
- Keep a recycling bin (like one from Recyclingbin.com: Eco-Friendly Bins & Containers) next to the trash can so that people know you support plastic, metal and paper recycling.
- Give guests reusable napkins so that they can be rewashed and used again.
- If you do have a charcoal grill, use lump charcoal made from natural and sustainable wood and try to avoid using lighter fluid.
After the picnic…
- Use biodegradable plastic trash bags to clean up any surrounding trash.
- Let your guests take home any leftovers so that no food goes to waste.
- Clean the grill with soap and water instead of using harsh chemicals.
- Compost any leftover food scraps in a special compost pile in your back yard. You can also throw those lawn clippings from the other day in the pile!
You can have a fun, affordable and green Memorial Day weekend if you just commit yourself to earth-friendly practices. Plus, if you can commit to these practices on Memorial Day, then you can do it every time that you have a cookout!