Labor Day is just around the corner; a time for picnics, barbecues, friends, family and relaxation. Prep your patio for a picture perfect, and green, party and get ready for some fun. Whether you’re planning a small, family affair or hosting the whole neighborhood, we’ve got you covered with tips, tricks and some great product ideas to keep your celebration in the green.Grill it right – Grilling is a Labor Day must have, so how do you make it greener? Skip the traditional charcoal and lighter fluid and opt for an electric grill. If flames are a requirement for you, go for gas or propane. And for those who just must have charcoal, there are FSC certified hardwood charcoal lumps available. Keep grilling green with the right tools. Eco-friendly bamboo and stainless steel barbecue tools make grilling a breeze.
Forget the disposables – Parties and picnics produce a lot of trash, so reduce how much you generate by skipping as many disposables as possible. Hand out cloth napkins instead of paper. Use real glassware and plates if you’re at home, and opt for reusable plastic plates if you’re out and about. Keep a supply of tea towels on hand to take the place of paper towels. The added bonus of ditching the disposables? Not only is it eco-friendly, but it makes your party just that much cooler.
Green your drinks – Forget the coolers full of cans and bottles of beer and sodas. Stir up a pitcher of sangria for the non-beer drinkers then head to a local brewery to pick up a few growlers instead of individual bottles. Better yet, find an organic brewer. Invest in a filtered water pitcher so you can skip the bottled water, and if soda is a must, find some organic options, or buy larger containers and make sure to recycle.
Make recycling easy – You’re sure to have at least some recyclables, so make it easy on your guests with plenty of clearly labeled containers. If you’re area doesn’t have single-stream recycling, consider printing out labels for each container so guests can see at a glance what goes where. Don’t forget the compost! Make sure you’ve got a container for compost handy, and label it with pictures of compostable items.
Light it up – Keep your party going all night long with solar-powered lighting. Illuminate a path, or place clusters of small lights on your tables as creative centerpieces. Put a light next to your trash and recycling containers as well.
Get some seating – Folks need a place to sit, right? If you’re ready for some new, green outdoor furniture, take a look at teak. It’s a truly sustainable, renewable resource and weathers the outdoors with minimal upkeep and care. Plus, it just looks great!
And if you’re wondering what Labor Day is all about, well… it’s observed on the first Monday in September and celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.