Outdoor summer gatherings are an essential part of the season, from casual Fourth of July cookouts to swanky evening soirees. These events bring our favorite people together while we enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery. Today, more people than ever are looking for more sustainable products and practices to help keep the planet healthy, and that includes bringing more earth-friendly entertaining into their social lives.
While it may seem challenging to make your outside parties greener, it can be surprisingly simple and even add to the overall experience of your guests. We’ve put together an easy guide to help make outdoor entertaining better for the earth and your friends.
Decorating your outdoor space can often involve items and materials that aren’t very kind to the planet. Balloons are a traditional staple for childrens’ birthdays and retirement parties, but research shows they have a detrimental impact on the environment, especially for wildlife. Instead, add color to your festivities with flowers, aluminum pinwheels and rice paper streamers or confetti. Skip the plastic banners and choose chalkboard displays or recycled paper. When lighting your outdoor space for evening entertaining, make it earth-friendly with solar powered LED lights, tiki-torches and beeswax candles in glass jars. Choose recycled plastic outdoor furniture to make your backyard elegant, comfortable and sustainable.
A major challenge to green outdoor entertaining comes in what we serve our guests and how we serve it. Each day, Americans throw away 70 million plastic soda and water bottles, most of which end up in landfills or incinerators. Provide lemonade and water in large glass spigot jars with reusable or bamboo cups. Opt for glass bottles and cans for wine, beer and soft drinks. Eco-friendly dining starts in the kitchen. Limit the amount of meat you’re serving, and pair it with seasonal fruits, vegetables and salads. Whenever possible, choose locally-sourced ingredients. A trip to the farmer’s market can help you devise a great menu of freshly prepared, delicious treats. Present hors d’oeuvres, lunch or dinner on eco-friendly trays and bowls; metal lined with parchment paper is a great option.
Make Less Waste
There are many ways to cut waste for more earth-friendly entertaining. Recycled plastic outdoor furniture doesn’t require table cloths, but if using them stick to cloth. The same goes for napkins. They can be easily cleaned and will elevate the overall experience. When preparing food, lemonade or your signature sangria, compost fruits and veggie scraps. You can bring composting to your guests as well by lining a metal or recycled plastic waste receptacle with a compost bag, and using compostable cups, plates and cutlery. This will reduce food waste along with waste from single-use dishes for an eco-friendly dining experience. Have separate recycling bins for glass bottles and cans, and a bamboo hamper for napkins. Labeling them with small chalkboards will add extra charm.
Enjoy Eco-Friendly Design with By the Yard
By the Yard builds patio furniture, accessories and waste receptacles with entertaining in mind. In fact, we have been delighted to be part of earth-friendly entertaining for almost 30 years. Sustainably made from recycled plastic, our outdoor furniture is comfortable, elegant and long lasting. Its looks and durability make it ideal for an eco-friendly outdoor dinner party, a gorgeous evening get-together or casual summer barbeque. Custom made by hand in Minnesota, each piece reflects your style for years of making memories with friends, family and loved ones.