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How to Throw A Lean, Mean & Green Memorial Day Cookout

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Jessica
05.28.12

Today is Memorial Day! Are you going to BBQ? To keep harmful toxins from ruining an otherwise bodacious burger, follow these green tips. Store-bought cleaning products, pesticides and VOCS can all contribute to an unhealthy burger marinade.

Plus, during the peak grilling season from Memorial Day to 4th of July, there will be 60 million cookouts in the United States, complete with paper plates, napkins and plastic forks and spoons.

Try these tips to reduce waste at your get together:

Clean With Baking Soda

Before you turn on your grill, clean the grate with baking soda instead of store-bought chemicals. Use a wire brush and a paste of equal parts baking soda and water to scrape off any remnants of last year’s barbecues. For more tips on cleaning with baking soda, read: Green Cleaning Products: Baking Soda.

Purchase Fresh Products  

Instead of using tomatoes and onions sprayed with pesticides, shop at your local farmer’s market to pick up your produce. You’ll also find pesticide-free meat products. Plus, you’ll be helping out your local farmers and boosting the local economy. To find a farmer’s market in your area, check out: Local Harvest.

Lose the Lighter Fluid 

Lighter fluid contains harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are bad for the environment and your health. Electrical charcoal starters are great alternatives and usually cost around $10. Best of all, they are reusable!

Ditch the Disposables

When serving your guests, go with reusable cutlery, glasses and plates. These reusable tableware products from Preserve are bright and colorful alternatives. Also, use cloth napkins instead of paper.

Clean With Kitchen Products

After your cookout, take a halved onion and rub it over the grate to get rid of excess food. Brush olive oil over the grate afterwards so the food won’t stick the next time you grill. The cleaner the grill, the cleaner your food is when you eat it!

Recycle & Compost

Make it easy for guests to recycle by placing recycling bins next to the trashcan. Make sure each can has a label clearly marked: paper, plastic and aluminum. If you have a lot of leftover food scraps, compost the proper foods. Remember: Never compost dairy or meat products! To learn more about composting, read: Make A Compost Bin.

Prevent Pests

To keep pests from plaguing your cookout, throw sage and rosemary on the hot coals. Mosquitoes hate these plants and will stay away, and the herbs add a pleasant aroma to your get-together. Another mosquito prevention trick is to set out a cup of sugar water. The mosquitoes will flock to the sugar water and stay away from your guests. For more pest control tips, read: Pest Control: Things With Wings.

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