Summer is here, and hopefully, for you, that means sunshine and warmer temperatures perfect for outdoor activities with family and friends. With summer vacations and plenty of long weekends ahead, many of us will find ourselves either attending or planning a summer cookout at some point during the season. To help make your summer cookout a little bit greener, we’ve compiled a list of some great ways to reduce food waste and your eco-footprint this year. Get these must-have summer cookout tips, accessories and ideas for a memorable sunny day with family and friends:

Ditch the Plastic

Photo: Jean-Alain via Pixabay

While this tip may seem obvious to eco-conscious consumers, it’s worth thinking about on a deeper level beyond just utensils. With tons of reusable options becoming available at big-box retailers, there are more choices than ever for sustainable silverware to serve your food. And the best part? Many of these reusable sets are under $10!

You can also find bamboo plates, cups, and bowls from various retailers both in-store and online. Bamboo cutlery has a beautiful color that can add personality to any dinner table that both kids and adults will love.

You can try these – All Natural 100% Compostable Disposable Party Plates and 100% Compostable Plant-Based High Heat Utensils Combo Set for your next cookout.

Reduce Food Waste

Photo: RitaE via Pixabay

Food waste in America is certainly one of the most underrated environmental issues facing us today. With around 40% of food in the US going to waste each year, every little bit of effort from consumers can make a difference. Allow your guests to take food home that you and your family don’t want once the party is over. Think of making the event a potluck, where guests can bring their own dish and take home whatever food isn’t eaten that day.

Fruits, vegetables, and even cooked pasta can be composted and put back into the earth. While a composter can be costly in the beginning, it’s a valuable investment that can make a huge impact on the planet. Maybe even consider splitting the cost with a fellow eco-conscious friend or neighbor to reduce the initial expense.

Managing food waste can be tricky, but by taking small steps like these, you can make a big difference.

Use a Gas Grill

Photo: Roger Mommaerts via Flickr

Compared to using a charcoal grill, gas grilling is definitely the more environmentally friendly choice. Charcoal grills produce about twice as much CO2 as gas grills, making gas the cleaner option of the two. Charcoal grills also release volatile organic compounds into the air that are known to be harmful to human health. Here’s gearing towards healthier food!

Check out the Weber Liquid Propane Grill for your next cookout!

Shop for Sustainable Meat and Vegetables

Photo: skeeze via Pixabay

Shopping for food at your local farmer’s market or co-op pre-cookout reduces your eco-footprint while also supporting your community! Not only do these products taste fresh, but you can feel good about buying locally grown produce for your cookout this summer.

In addition to shopping local and organic, you can also incorporate more vegetables and vegetarian options into your menu. Vegetable skewers and grilled fruit are perfect for the season, and can even be made festive depending on the holiday (red, white, and blue).

You can try these 100% Natural Bamboo Cheese Board & Cutlery Set to go along with.

May we have many many sunny days ahead!

Also Read: 

Smart DIY Home Ideas for Eco-Friendly Living

10 Tips to make your garden truly green this spring