Cookout season has officially begun! Make this summer your best – and most green – yet with lean meats, mean veggies, and clean beverages – like organically grown wine. Here are a few tips for more eco-friendly gatherings.
Step one: Open a bottle of crisp, summery Natura sauvignon blanc to set the mood. All right, now:
- Summer cleaning. Green up by tossing yard clippings and other debris in a compost bin (or take it to your local recycling center), and clean up patio furniture with a natural cleaner, such as vinegar.
- Light it up! Once that’s done, add some ambiance with lighting and decor. Opt for solar-powered fixtures or LED bulbs to line walkways or string along the house or railings. Finally, add some potted plants that look pretty and will help remove pollutants from the air. You can even go for mosquito-repelling varieties, like basil and lavender.
- Get your grill ready. Are you using a gas grill? We hope so, because they’re greener than charcoal grills. And they’re easier to use, too. Before you can fire it up though, you need to clean it up. Turn it on and let it warm up for 15 minutes or so, then turn it back off. While it’s still warm, use a wire brush to scrape leftover food debris off the grate, then use a cloth to rub vegetable oil on the grate to prevent sticking.
- Buy reusable dishes and utensils. Using disposable plates, cups, and utensils is a major no-no if you want to host a green cookout. With reusable plastics, you don’t have to worry about guests breaking anything, and once they’ve reached the end of their (hopefully long) lifespan, they can be recycled. If you must use disposable dishes and cutlery, opt for biodegradable options and compost them.
- Go green with food. The real stars of the show will be what you’re serving, of course. Visit the farmer’s market and local vendors for just-picked produce, fresh cheeses, and free-range, organic meats.
- Don’t forget the wine! Organically grown wine reduces your cookout footprint even further. And the taste is…phenomenal.
Cookouts are a quintessential summer activity and great way to spend time with family and friends – especially when you do it with green style!