Summer is full of opportunities for outdoor activities and enjoying fresh air and the beauty of nature. It also gives us a chance to gather with friends and family and enjoy their company somewhere outside: in a garden, at a picnic or a barbecue. However, a summer feasting can easily end up being an event with lots of meat consumed, food waste and garbage produced. According to a research a typical summer barbecue for four people can be responsible for more greenhouse gases than an 80-mile car journey.* To avoid that, WWF suggests some easy swaps you can make . Follow some tips that make this time spent together more sustainable.
  1. Offer meat-free alternatives. Grilled vegetables, mushrooms especially, cheese, fish or meat alternative products can be tasty and healthy. Look for seasonal, local ingredients to ensure low environmental impact and best taste. Even if you serve meat, too, people can vary their menu and the amount of meat consumed will be less overall.
  2.  If you serve meat, try to go for organic or free range options. Buy unusual cuts of meat (ask the butcher to help you). Consuming all of the animal is a crucial part of eating meat sustainably.
  3.  Avoid pre-packaged and ready-prepared food, it usually contains more sugar, salt and fat, and also comes with plastic package that cannot be recycled.
  4.  Prepare small portions. Large portions can encourage people to over-eat which is unhealthy and has a large impact on the environment.
  5.  Make use of leftovers. Consider how you will store the food that is not consumed and plan ahead. You can also prepare with (not single-use) food boxes for the guests, but freezing and eating it later is also an option.
  6.  It always takes time for the meal to be prepared and snacks are usually needed in the meantime. Serve only healthy, palm oil-free snacks. Home-made versions are always better than pre-packed ones. You can chop up some seasonal vegetables for example. It will be a good appetizer, too.
  7.  Do not use disposable plates, cups and cutlery. Use permanent ones and rinse them after use. Do not serve the drinks with single-use straws and avoid any disposable plastic decoration.
  8. Serve filtered water and fresh squeezed juice rather than sugary drinks in plastic bottles.
  9. Make sure you are prepared for selective waste management and the proper bins are available for the guests.
  10. You can help your guests to organize their trips by car sharing.
  11. Use solar lights after dark, it will be more environmental friendly, cozy and your electricity bill will be moderated as well

+1. You can be a cathalyzer for change, motivate others by explaining your decisions and why it is important to you to make the event more sustainable.

© Rodnae Productions

* A research by UK scientists showcased in the exhibition Take a Bite Out of Climate Change

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