Jump Into Summer With These Sustainable Grilling Tips
With Memorial Day quickly approaching, socially distanced outdoor parties are sure to be back in full force this summer. Before firing up the grill, consider the implications of an outdoor party on the environment – a big gathering can generate a lot of waste, and it is important to know what to recycle and how you can be more sustainable!
While dirty paper plates and plastic utensils need to be thrown away, there are many grilling essentials that can be reused or recycled, including aluminum beer and soda cans, and glass pickle jars. Additionally, clean and dry plastic beverage cups and plastic bottles can go straight into the recycling bin.
Learn five easy ways to make your summer gatherings as eco-friendly as possible.
- Keep a recycling bin in clear sight. Setting up a designated bin for guests will make recycling a breeze! Remind attendees that all recyclables need to be empty, clean, and dry. If someone isn’t sure if an item is recyclable, it’s best to put it in the trash. Make it easy for your guests by printing and taping this handy sign to the container.
- Use real dishware. Ditch the paper plates and plastic utensils this year and opt for real dishes instead. Not only does this sustainable step elevate the presentation of your food, but it will also impress your guests and you’ll be keeping those unnecessary paper plates and plastic utensils out of a landfill.
- Always go with aluminum. Proper recycling of aluminum cans is critical for both our planet and our economy. Choose beer, soda, and other beverages in aluminum cans instead of plastic, since aluminum can be recycled infinitely, and making a new can from recycled aluminum uses 95% less energy than making the same can from raw materials.
- Choose gas or electric for outdoor grilling. Most outdoor grills are fueled by charcoal or gas. Gas is more efficient for cooking, plus gas and electric grills burn cleaner than charcoal and produce a smaller carbon footprint.
- Consider composting. Did you know that household organic waste, or food and yard waste, currently makes up about 30% of the waste that’s sent to landfills (EPA)? Composting your food scraps is an easy way to reduce greenhouse gasses and minimize landfill waste. Republic Services currently operates 11 high-tech compost facilities in five states, using mechanical aeration to speed up the biological process and reduce odors. One of the key benefits of composting is that it helps the environment by providing a more sustainable system of materials management. Check out our five tips to get started on your composting journey.
This summer is sure to be even better than the last, but don’t lose sight of the safety and health of each other – and the environment. Don’t be a “wish-cycler.” Learn how to recycle correctly.