Going Green as You Toast the Red, White and Blue

Americans are making plans to celebrate the Fourth of July! As you make your BBQ shopping list, remember the environment. There are lots of simple things you can do to have a green celebration as you toast the red, white and blue!

Albuquerque, NM | June 27, 2011
Top 10 Ways to Green Your BBQ Party (in no particular order):
  1. Use reusable or biodegradable plates and utensils. If you can’t find those, at least go for products made from 100 percent recycled materials. Remember that your biodegradable plates will need to be cleaned before going in the compost bin— ketchup, hamburger grease and other-non-veggie food matter doesn’t compost.
  1. Fill up pitchers of water, homemade lemonade and iced tea instead of buying huge quantities of personal-sized beverage containers.
  1. If you take heed of tip #2, you’ll need to provide cups. If you use plastic or paper cups, provide markers at the drink counter so people can write their names on their cups— and therefore not use more than one.
  1. And even if you follow tip #2, you’re likely to have beer and other individual-sized beverages in a cooler. Encourage recycling by putting out easily identifiable bins— you’ll find fewer bottles and cans smeared with ketchup in the garbage.
  1. Grill locally grown veggies! While local doesn’t necessarily mean organic, small farms are often more likely to be more sustainable and pesticide-free.
  1. Encourage walking, biking or carpooling to your party. 
  1. Make sure mosquitoes don’t drive your guests away. Before the party, take a look at prime mosquito breeding grounds — clean out rain gutters, check other spots with standing water and mow your grass (with a reel mower, of course). Even better, help the mosquito-problem year round by installing a bat house in your yard. 
  1. If you’re throwing a big bash, chose Evites over mailed invitations.  Sending invitations electronically will save both money and trees. Bonus for going the electronic route: You'll save on the fuel used to deliver the cards.
  1. Don’t forget the little things. Choosing organic condiments, reusable napkins instead of paper ones, homemade decorations over store-bought and other details will help round off the finishing touches of your green BBQ.
  1. Get more green guidance by visiting

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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