How To Host a Low-Waste BBQ

Planning a summer barbecue cookout? On top of planning the menu and prepping the grill, another important aspect to remember is managing (and reducing!) the waste that results.

Follow these 5 tips below to throw a more eco-conscious event:

  1. Check RSVPs and restrictions. Confirm attendance as the event date gets close so you can prevent over purchasing. Additionally, check for dietary restrictions that may affect the quantity of food needed, such as less meat for any vegetarian or vegan preferences.
  2. Share leftovers. Pack any food left over for guests to take home to prevent edible food from being thrown away and wasted.
  3. Get Real. Use real plates, silverware, cups, and cloth napkins whenever possible rather than opting for single-use. It might seem inconvenient at first, but your event will generate less waste and costs, especially if you have a dishwasher available. If you don’t have a dishwasher, this can be a great chance for guests to get to know each other better — over the drying rack!
  4. Check up on your recycling and composting knowledge here. Are you using paper plates but don’t have composting available? In that case, make sure dirty plates end up in the garbage and not recycling. Note that even though an item has a chasing arrow symbol, it does not mean that item is recyclable in the City of Stockton. When in doubt, use the guide to check whether items to be disposed of are going to the right bin.
  5. Provide appropriate waste bins. Label and place a recycle and/or compost bin next to every garbage bin to help attendees dispose of their waste correctly. You can find printable signs for your bins here. Also, explain where certain waste items go to attendees at the start of the event.