Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Steps to a Greener 4th of July

Happy 4th of July! We're blogging a little early today, so we can get to you before your cook-out! According to an estimate by the U.S, Department of Energy, around 60 million Americans have BBQs today! With all the celebrations going on it is hard to remember to keep your grilling 'green'. However, we have a few simple steps to make your holiday cooking a little more eco-friendly.

Compostable over biodegradable- We hate to say it, but the word biodegradable has been tainted. Companies use the term all the time, even if their product is only biodegradable over 50 years. Compostable products, however, can go straight in with your compost and have to be certified in order to be labeled compostable.

Clean your grill- leftover food and grease in your grill leads to excess smoke, and just isn't healthy for your grill or the environment. Make sure to thoroughly clean your grill and you'll be good to go! Baking Soda is a great, natural grill killer too, just use a wire brush and an equal parts mixture of Baking Soda and water and you'll have a clean grill in no time!

Recycle your cans and bottles- Make sure you're sorting and recycling your waste. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour on average, and the majority are thrown away. Recycling your bottles and cans is an easy way to make your cook-out a little bit greener.

Use organic charcoal in your grill- Overall, charcoal grills aren't great for the environment, however if you use an organic charcoal it will burn cleaner, as it is made from untreated wood, rather than traditional charcoal which is treated with chemicals and other additives to make it burn longer.

Buy a vinyl tablecloth, rather than a paper or plastic throw-away- This will save you the money of buying a flimsy tablecloth each year, and you're keeping that paper/plastic one out of landfills.

Use recycled aluminum foil for your grilling- Some brands now offer 100% recycled aluminum foil, most in cases made from 100% recycled paperboard.

Buy your food locally- buying from local farmers means you can find pesticide-free produce and you'll boost your local economy! It also doesn't hurt that those farmers just have to drive it into town, rather than across the country.

Use natural pest remedies- Nobody likes having bugs at the party! We have a full post about natural bug repellants, but another trick is to throw sage and rosemary on hot coals, if you're using a charcoal grill. They will make your yard smell great, and it will keep Mosquitos away. Citronella candles also make great bug repellants.

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