*Sniff*. I smell a holiday weekend on the horizon. Sizzling meats, coconutty sunscreen, and maybe even a little bit of pool chlorine (don’t lie...you kind of like it, too).
Memorial Day is inherently sacred, in that it honors the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It also delivers to us the summer kickoff we’ve been waiting for since January.
And that means it’s time for some barbecues, baby!
In keeping with our tradition of helping you coast through the most special times of year while keeping your green reputation intact, we’ve gathered a couple tips for cooking out eco-style.
Buy natural bug repellent and sunscreen, or better yet, make your own! Especially if you have kids; this could be a fun pre-picnic activity. Wellness Mama has great recipes for both bug spray and sunscreen.
While we know charcoal and lighter fluids are bad news for the ozone, chances are if you’re picnicking at the park, grilling with charcoal is just more practical than gas. But as you may have guessed, there are more environmentally-friendly ways to go about it.
Are you the kind who likes just a few veggies with their meat? Or a little protein to garnish a massive salad?
While few are probably serving chicken caesar salad as the main course for their picnic, you can still even out the meat/veggie ratio (and still satisfy the craving for a burger) with hearty vegetables. Try grilling marinated portobello mushrooms, eggplant, and of course, veggie burgers.
And if the carnivores in your life are giving you hangry looks of disapproval, opt for chicken and fish, which generally have a smaller ecological footprint than beef.
Delish has a mouth-watering gallery of grilled veggie recipes that will give meat a run for its money any day.
If you like to serve your grilled creations with a delicious frothy cold one (we sure do), then check out this list of craft breweries that earn high marks on the green charts. Whether it’s growing their own hops, cutting water usage, powering their facilities with wind, or creating special seasonal beers using local seasonal produce, these brewers aim to please the planet as much as your palette.
People often like to release balloons into the sky to pay tribute to our fallen loved ones. As well-intended as that gesture is, it’s unfortunately a very dangerous one for wildlife. Many animals mistake balloons for food, or become fatally entangled in the strings. Instead of balloons, how about making this environmentally-friendly bubble solution from Green and Clean Mom instead!
Do you have any eco-picnic tips to share? Let us know!
The Ocean Cleanup is a project centered around a brand new technology, invented by young Dutch entrepreneur Boyan Slat. It uses the same natural currents that consolidate garbage into large patches to find and collect the debris, where it's later picked up by barges and recycled. This technology could greatly reduce the amount of pollution that eventually breaks down into microplastics, which have harmful effects that cascade up the food chain.
For Americans who have set intentions and personal goals around reducing impact—by buying eco-friendly products or cutting energy use—the news of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement may be disappointing. But this change has actually inspired many powerful entities to kick their current planet-cleaning efforts into high gear. The trajectory doesn't have to change simply because of a formality. The movement starts with everyday people: buyers and consumers.
Cassidy is the co-founder of ethical clothing company Wakened Apparel, and popular eco-conscious product reviewer at @life_simplified. We had the privilege of hearing in her own words what simple living has done for her, and all the surprising ways she’s learned to go green and actually save money doing it! Cassidy explains why she loves what she does, and busts the myth that eco-friendly living is too expensive.