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​As the weather warms up, there could be a backyard barbeque with friends and family in your future. But did you know that these carefree get-togethers can generate a lot of unnecessary waste and harmful emissions? Here are our go-to green tips for hosting a better barbeque this summer.    

Fire up a gas grill

Fact: charcoal grills release twice as much carbon as gas grills. They also burn off particles of soot and dirt that pollute the air and can be harmful to your lungs. Opt for a gas grill instead for a cleaner way to cook.

Cook more efficiently

Most natural gas grills take less time to heat up than you might think. By investing in a BBQ thermometer to keep track of the temperature, you'll get your food on the grill quicker while also cutting down on gas consumption.

Bonus: Keep the lid down. While you might be tempted to take a peek, keeping the lid closed will distribute the heat more evenly and cook your food faster.

Say no to paper, plastic and styrofoam

Picking up disposable paper plates, Styrofoam cups and plastic cutlery during your run to the grocery store is often too convenient to resist. Try opting for the real thing instead to make it easier for your guests to enjoy their meals and reduce the amount of waste you produce.

If you do decide to use disposable dinnerware, look for eco-friendly and biodegradable products. Party City Canada carries a line of disposable dinnerware made with 100% recycled material, as well as a line of plates made from natural sugar cane fibre.

Serve dispensable drinks

Instead of serving up canned or bottled beverages, mix up a jug of your drink of choice, such as lemonade or flavoured water, to offer to guests. Help everyone keep track of their glass and reduce waste by using a washable glass marker to label them instead of plastic cups. Liquid chalk markers, for example, come in a variety of colours and can be used to keep kids busy during the party. 

Keep the insects at bay in a friendly way

There's no avoiding pesky insects this summer but, instead of using chemically-laden sprays, give environmentally-friendly repellents a try. Natural solutions made from fragrant herbs and oils (such as lavender and tea tree oil) are available in candle, cream and spray form at most organic and natural food markets.

Sources: Treehugger, Goodsearch, Groovy Green Livin

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