The start of summer is often celebrated with cookouts, picnics, and family barbecues. As you plan your first summer barbecue, it's important to consider the environmental impact that the festivities will have. By planning ahead, you can have a barbecue celebration that reduces your carbon footprint, naturally teaches others about helping the environment, and still allows everyone to have a good time. Along with encouraging the use of reusable products like plastic food bins, here are four ways to reduce waste during a barbecue. Once you set these these steps into motion, it will be easier to throw environmentally friendly barbecues for every event.

1. Waste Management Bins

Instead of having random trash cans and bags available for the party, you can encourage recycling by setting up a proper waste area. The use of waste management bins makes it easy to organize items right in your backyard. When you sign up for waste management services, the company often give you three bins: a garbage bin, a recycling bin, and a compost bin. If your barbecue party is going to be large, then you can request extra bins for temporary use. This makes it easy to set set bins at different sections of your yard and give people multiple ways to properly recycle. Contact a service like B-P Trucking Inc to request the bins.

Once you receive the extra bins, you can use pieces of cardboard to make easy bin labels. The bins have specific colors applied to them, but the labels will make it easier to sort items and know which bin is which. Along with labeling the bins, you can list the different items accepted inside. For example, underneath the compost bin, you can include names or drawings of foods like corn on the cob or chicken bones.

2. Biodegradable Foodware Options

One of the biggest sources of waste at a barbecue is food ware. Cups, plates, and utensils can all lead to added-up waste. Prevent this waste by supplying party guests with biodegradable food ware options. You can purchase cups and plates made with different plant materials like corn, bamboo, or other foods. These materials will not impact the way food tastes and can be added right to the compost bin. If you plan on filling up a lot of compost bins, then you should contact a waste management company for extra pick-up options. This allows you to leave extra bags near your standard compost bin and get rid of it all in one day.

3. Drinking Options

Help reduce waste by supplying different drink options for your party guests. For drink ware, you have multiple options. Glass cups are great for serving and can be washed and reused a bunch of times. A small bin can be placed outside for guests to place dirty cups when they are done drinking from them. If you do not want to wash dozens of cups, then you have the option of providing guests with reusable cups. For example, you can purchase bulk reusable water bottles for guests and provide large drink coolers with different beverage options. The reusable water bottles will reduce waste from disposable water bottles and encourage reducing waste even when the barbecue is over.

4. Grilling Options

The grill itself is another concern for your barbecue emissions. It's important to choose a grilling option that has minimal emissions and can still provide your party guests with delicious foods. Gas and propane grills are some of the cleanest options to choose from. They create fewer emissions than traditional coal and still provide great flavors while cooking. You can even take things to the next level by finding a modern grill with little to no emissions. For example, there are a number of electric grills that operate on solar power. Such a grill can eliminate emissions and still provide a nice outdoor cooking option for hot dogs, burgers, and chicken. Purchasing one of these grills can provide you with clean cooking options for many summers.

Prepare your guests for the environmental features of your barbecue when inviting them to the festivities. This will prevent others from bringing wasteful items and keeping your event as environmentally friendly as possible.