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Sustainable Cookouts

Written by Julee Mitchell
    Tuesday, 02 July 2019
Sustainable Cookouts

Summer is finally here, tomorrow is the 4th of July and for many people that means its cookout time! Cooking outside with friends and neighbors is a great way to enjoy the warmer weather, but these gatherings can also generate a lot of waste and have a negative impact on the environment. Here are some tips to make your cookout ecofriendly.

  1. Use a propane grill instead of charcoal. Propane burns cleaner than coal and emits half the amount of carbon. Charcoal also may contain some unhealthy ingredients like nitrates, treated wood, petroleum products and borax.
  2. If you really like the flavor charcoal brings, try a sustainable all natural brand such as Original Charcoal Company, El Ranchero Mesquite or The Good One.
  3. Say no to plastic. Plastic cups, straws and eating utensils, are convenient but not good for the environment. Single use plastics take 500 years or more to decompose-(that’s a long life span for something made to be disposable!) Paper plates and cups decompose in less than 180 days. Or, you could skip the disposable all together and use real dishes. Don’t have enough cups? Tell your guests to BYOC - bring your own cup!
  4. Skip the store bought decorations. There’s no need to buy balloons and streamers when nature provides a bounty of materials to create a festive setting. Use live plants and flowers as centerpieces, or try an edible centerpiece made from fruits and veggies. Repurpose old shirts or sheets to make one-of-a-kind banners. And if your celebration lasts long into the night, place candles in recycled glass jars around your party space or hang them from branches for a festive touch.

4th of July place setting with a bowl of cherries

Share your cookout ideas and photos! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook @urbanecologycenter. Have a wonderful season of safe and sustainable summer cookouts!

Photo Credit: Jill Wellington from Pixabay
Julee Mitchell

Julee Mitchell

Julee works in the UEC Development Department where she strives to keep accurate records of donors and members. Before being hired as a staff member, Julee was an avid volunteer at the UEC helping with community events and programs. She has a graduate degree in Urban Planning from UW-Milwaukee and has a passion for sustainability. She enjoys travel, outdoor sports and leisure, yoga and spending time with her children. Her hobbies include organic gardening and keeping backyard chickens on her urban homestead.

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