Posted by & filed under tips & tricks.

Labor Day weekend is finally upon us and so are the big sales and big BBQs.

Before you run to refill your grill’s gas tank, check out these awesome and EASY ways to green-up your holiday weekend.

Mushroom Burger

  1. A charcoal chimney is an easy way to start your grill and much safer than lighter fluid if you don’t have a gas grill. Make sure you use natural, hardwood charcoal instead of the conventional briquettes.
  2. Fill at least half your grill with produce.  Produce is not only healthy and low calorie, but also doesn’t produce the carcinogens that can form on grilled meats.  Always cook over a low-to-medium flame and avoid over-charring.  Flare-ups and smoking oil create carcinogens. Marinating or basting with oil, honey or a barbeque sauce will provide a barrier and help prevent charring.  Add delicious and nutritious vine ripened tomatoes and watermelon to your meal – they contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which may also help ward off sunburn!
  3. If you are having a crowd and are looking to use disposable plates and utensils, make sure they are decomosable or made from recycled plastic.  Preserve Products makes plates, utensils and storage containers that are made in the United States from 100 percent BPA-free recycled plastic and are dishwasher safe. Cloth napkins are a nice touch!
  4. Chemical free sunscreen and insect repellants are a much healthier alternative than conventional products.  Badger makes effective non-toxic, biodegradable sunscreens and repellants.
  5. Plan activities to get your guests moving and not eating and drinking so much.  If your cookout is near the water, swimming and kayaking are fun. If not, set up a volleyball/badminton net and get everyone involved in a tournament.  Try croquet, a nature walk or an outside scavenger hunt is a great way to get the kids interested in the outdoors.
  6. Don’t  forget to recycle cans, bottles and other recyclable items!

Whatever you do to honor the end of summer, make sure you are good to the earth.  Remember, what is good for the earth is good for you and what is good for you is good for the earth.  Have fun!