1. Canva - Zero Waste BBQ

If you’ve ever felt a pang of guilt when packing up bags of waste after hosting a backyard barbecue or any outdoor dining extravaganza, we can help. Throwing a more sustainable soiree isn’t just better for the planet; it can be more affordable too. Think of it this way: Purchasing reusable utensils means you’re buying the goods once instead of every time, and sometimes making your own condiments actually comes out cheaper (not to mention more delicious) than store-bought.

With these tips and tricks, anyone can throw a fabulous outdoor bash with less waste and hardly any additional effort.

Ditch the Plastic Cutlery

Not only are plastic knives, forks, and spoons typically flimsier than the ones you use in your kitchen, they’re also not great for the planet. Grab a set of flatware that’s just for outdoor use. For an even more sustainable solution, pick up some mismatched sets from a local thrift store.

Use a Real Tablecloth

Give your outdoor gathering a little extra class by putting down a real tablecloth instead of a disposable plastic “cloth.” If you don’t want to bring your nice linens outdoors, or you don’t use them indoors, try a bedsheet or a thin blanket. When in doubt, the thrift store is your friend.

Set the Table with Real Plates

A mismatched set of garage sale plates doesn’t just cut down on paper waste, they look whimsical as well. Even better, you can easily load up a plastic or ceramic plate with far more ‘cue than the thin paper kind. If you aren’t into thrifting, pick up a few sets of outdoor dinnerware that’s made for al fresco dining.

Keep Produce Fresh with Reusable Containers

Fresh berries or greens make a sweet addition to any cookout, but they always seem to go bad as soon as they leave the vine — especially if you shop organic. Store your veggies and fruit in a crisp produce bin for easy fridge storage that works double time as a travel case straight to your picnic. These sleek and functional containers will help your farmers’ market haul go the distance.

Choose Cans Over Plastic

We get it: Sometimes you just need to crack open a cold one. If you’re looking to serve beer or soda, cans are a more sustainable choice. While not quite zero waste, aluminum cans are less toxic than plastic if they don’t end up recycled.