Nothing says Summer like the smell of a sizzling barbie and the sounds of a coldie being opened, friends and family cackling away and 6’s being hit over the fence. This fun-loving Aussie pastime is a little slice of heaven, and it’s something most of us look forward to all year. But as the nation collectively lights up the barbie we often fail to consider the damage it’s doing to our environment.
From the excess buying, to the cooking, serving and the inevitable trash, more and more CO2 emissions are being pumped into the atmosphere. Hmm not so heavenly. But it’s not all bad news. Stay with us for a few handy tips for how you can green your grill this Summer and make sure it’s a fab one too!
Here they are…
The greenness begins before the guests arrive
- Send your BBQ invite via email, over the phone or on Facebook to cut down on paper wastage
- Suggest your guests walk, carpool, bike, ah maybe a cheeky skateboard to the BBQ
- Tally up the guest list before going to the market so you don’t buy to excess
The all important table and decorations
- Use your own plates, cutlery and glassware instead of plastic made from nasty petroleum or paper which ends up in the landfill
- Or if you’re having a monster BBQ and you can’t part with the idea of disposables, opt for biodegradable or bamboo varieties that go straight into the compost or can be recycled
- Use cloth napkins instead of paper. They last forever, are easy to wash and nicer to use
- Try and restrain from festive decos from the two dollar shop. A lovely bunch of flowers from your local market or even better, your own garden will pretty up the place in no time
Food, glorious food
- When it comes down to it, barbies are all about the food, but you can still go green while you grill. One of the biggest ways to cut down on your BBQ impact is to go meat free. Read more about it here. Now we’re not saying you have to go that far (although if you do, big karma points for you), but do try to reduce the meat portion of the feast and opt for organic produce where you can
- If you’re mad keen on seafood go for sustainable options like calamari, whiting or oysters. They have less of an impact on our oceans than a lot of other popular choices. Want the details? Check out the Australian Marine Conservation Society Sustainable Seafood Guide
- And of course, add to your food offerings with delish vego dishes made from local and organic produce that’s in season. Think amazing potato salads, leafy green greek salads and delish fruit salads. YES! To get your taste buds going check out these top 10 treats for a veggie BBQ, our guide to what’s in season in Victoria right now and find your local farmers market here
Guzzle down organic bevvies
- Nowdays it’s pretty easy to find yourself sipping on a organic beer or vino. So when you’re at the bottleo next ask the staff to show you the way to the good stuff
- If your BBQ’s shaping up to be a biggie consider getting a keg. That way you’re sure to cut down on excess packaging and save yourself some clean-up too!
- You’ll want to fill the esky with softie too so have a hunt around for some organic fizzies or make your own. Thinking fresh lemonade, ginger beer or sangria. Mmm-mmm!
A clean green home
- The post barbie cleanup is definitely the least fun part of the day but an important aspect of being green. A good idea is to pop out different bins for garbage, recycling bottles, cans and paper. That way your mates have to consider their throwaway choices on the spot. Plus this saves you from combing the garbage bin afterwards!
- Use less toxic cleaning products and use less of them. Go for ones that are biodegradable, concentrated and can be used for different surfaces. Avoid ones with ‘keep out of reach of children’ or ‘flammable’ warnings on them. Nasty pasty! It’s amazing what you can do with vinegar, bi carb of soda and your humble lemon. Get some good receipes here
- And finally, rather than seeing your fridge bulging at the side, palm off the left overs to your guests so that they can be devoured by all over the coming days. And throw the scraps in your compost or worm farm. Don’t have one up and running? Now’s a great time to start, we’ve got you covered
Have you had a green BBQ this Summer? Share your tips and tales here…