It’s hard to believe that Labor Day weekend is here already. The summer has flown by. So here’s wishing you a wonderful long weekend! And to keep it green, following are my top 10 tips for greening your Labor Day weekend.
1. Just about the first thing people think about on Labor Day is firing up the grill. This year, skip the burgers and beef hot dogs. The production of beef is a major contributor to three of the four global warming gases — carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.
2. What to grill instead? How about some grilled shrimp? If you’re at the beach, head to your local seafood shop. If you’re in my neck of the woods – MoCo near DC – check out Whole Foods fantastic sales on previously frozen wild caught raw shell-on shrimp – $6 off per pound, now just $9.99 per pound instead of $15.99 per pound. It’s delicious – and a sale that Whole Foods seems to run pretty frequently, fortunately. (And if shrimp isn’t your thing, how about pasta salad, potato salad, or organic soy-based corn dogs? Here are some other Labor Day recipe ideas).
3. Need a new grill? My favorite tips on solar-powered and other “green grills”are here. at Diane MacEachern’s Big Green Purse blog.
4. If you’re still using charcoal grills, reconsider. The prices of gas grills have dropped dramatically – I’ve seen them on sale for just $95 at KMart – and they’re a more Earth-friendly choice than charcoal. Or if you want to splurge, check out Weber gas grills. My local hardware store, Strosniders is running a big Labor day sale – they’ve got gas Weber grills from $399 up to $2599.
5. If you must use charcoal, Diane MacEachern suggests using lump charcoal instead of briquettes, which may contain coal dust
and other additives. Diane says to look for hardwood briquettes from forests certified by the Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program, or lumps made from coconut husks. Cow boy Charcoal, sold at Lowe’s, Trader Joe’s and under the Whole Foods 365 brand, makes chunk charcoal out of wood leftover from furniture making and construction.
Need to mow the lawn to make your yard look beautiful? Forget about conventional gas and electric mowers. Go retro with a good old fashioned push mower. Not only will you help to save the planet, you’ll get real exercise too! If you must use gas or electric, how about sharing a mower with your neighbors? (And if your little one wants to copy you, you can borrow the neighbors’ plastic mower. Yes, both mowers in this pic are borrowed! Talk about Reduce, Reuse, Refuse!)
To some folks, a party’s not a party is not a party without lights. Thankfully, there are more and more choices for LED lights, including these patriotic red, white and blue starred LEDs I found at Strosniders Hardware. (No, I didn’t buy them, but they’re cute, aren’t they?)
8. Consider recycled paper plates. I found the ones pictured above at my local Giant grocery store in Bethesda, Maryland, and I’ve also seen them at “Party City” stores. They’re priced comparable to regular paper plates. They’re cute and an eco-friendlier choice!
9. When dusk comes, and you head inside, open the windows instead of turning on the air conditioner. You’ll save money and the environment!
10. If you’re heading back home to the big city after enjoying time at the beach, you may want to check out the local farmers markets and grocers. We pick up organic and local fruits when we are in smaller towns that enjoy a lower cost of living than our big city home town.
Have a great holiday weekend!
– Copyright 2009 OrganicMania
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