Labor Day weekend is the perfect opportunity to bid adieu to summer—between neighborhood block parties, family barbecues, and even final dips into the backyard pool, it feels like the beautiful transition that leads us into the fall season. While it’s been an unconventional and otherwise unpredictable summer thus far, there’s still plenty of time to make memories and indulge in the warm outdoor weather with the people you love—and in a manner that also honors the planet that you love, too.
This Labor Day weekend, make your party or family gathering eco-friendly with these four tips to a more sustainable holiday weekend:
4. Reuse Decorations
The best kind of party or gathering is one with no throwaways. If the host in you is itching to spruce up your home or create an unforgettable spread out back, there are sustainable alternatives that will allow you to easily tap into your inner-decorator. Consider giving your old decorations new life by incorporating them into your Labor Day weekend party. Or ask your friends if they’d have any items they’d be willing to loan out. Not only will this give you more options for decorations, but it will also make your friends feel more included in the celebration too.
3. Skip Grilling With Charcoal
Ultimately, eco-friendly grills are the best way to go when trying to have a sustainable backyard barbecue. But, you can also make do with what you have simply by making more conscious choices. Consider grilling your food with gas, rather than with charcoal or wood, as the gas tends to burn much cleaner. Also, make sure to clean your grill with only natural cleaners—not only will it improve the efficiency of your grill, but it will also ensure that harmful chemicals don’t seep into your food.
2. Opt. For An Organic Menu
While buying store-bought items can seem like a quicker way to get food ready for your party, that doesn’t always mean that it’s healthier. Try preparing your own party dishes and consider purchasing them from your local farmer’s market to ensure that you’re working with only the freshest ingredients.
1. Save Your Leftovers
Leftovers deserve love too. And if you’re putting more time and energy into making something great, why not make it last as long as possible? Save your leftover food in reusable containers and simply store them in a place where you won’t forget them. If you plan well enough in advance, leftovers can also act as a great party favor too. Encourage your guests to bring their own reusable storage containers so that they can take home some quality meals to enjoy with their families, and eliminate any excess food waste in the process.
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Article written by Kyley Warren. Warren is the assistant editor of Green Living magazine.