Make Your Celebration Sustainable: Enjoy the Outdoors While Keeping It Clean

posted 6/29/2016

With chilly weather behind us, the warmth of summer is the perfect invitation to spend time outdoors. Whether it’s a picnic, a barbeque, or a Fourth of July celebration, don’t forget about ways you can go green at your event. It’s easier than you think!

Outdoor Events Save Energy

By spending time outdoors, you not only get to enjoy the weather, you also reduce your energy use. You conserve energy because your indoor lights remain off and air conditioners are turned down. Not sure where to hold your Fourth of July celebration? Look for community events! Many cities organize community-wide events for residents.

Easy, Sustainable Tips

Create a menu for your event that uses local and organic food and beverages. If you are using a grill, make use of propane when cooking food instead of charcoal (it actually has less of an environmental impact!). Decorations always make an event more festive, but they often end up in the garbage. Make decorations out of items you already have laying around! If you end up purchasing decorations, save them to use in the future again.

Reuse Whenever Possible

Many of the disposable products used at summer events can be replaced with reusable alternatives. Use washable napkins, plates, utensils and cups instead of your plastic silverware, Styrofoam plates and red Solo cups. If you do end up using disposable products, purchase those that are made of recycled paper. When buying food for your event, transport it using reusable bags instead of plastic ones. Clean up can even be green! Use rags or towels that can be tossed into the washing machine once you get home.

Have a Plan for Disposal

Make sure any waste that accumulates during your event goes to the right place. If you are away from home on a picnic, make sure no waste is left behind. Leave the scene of the picnic without litter – just as you found it! Wherever your event is, have clearly labeled garbage and recycling bins. Having a large event and need recycling containers?  Reserve some from us for free! Brush up on the recycling guidelines so you know which products go in which bin.

While you’re enjoying Mother Nature at your next event, make sure to remember to protect her too! Even small events can create a lot of waste. And don’t forget that Curb It! pickup is delayed by one day all week for the Fourth of July. Enjoy the summer weather!

For more information about safe, smart disposal and recycling options, visit or call 515.244.0021.