Sustainable Summer BBQs

Alas, it is summer in Rochester, and what better way to celebrate its arrival than a summer barbeque with friends and family! Barbeques are a great way to socialize with your loved ones while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you decide to hold your summer gatherings at the local park or right in your own backyard, here are a few tips on how to ensure everyone is happy, including the environment.


  • Evening BBQs

Beat the heat by hosting your events at night. Not only will this allow you time to prepare for your party during the day, but you won’t have to blast the air conditioning in order to cool down the house. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a nice, cool summer breeze?


  • Choosing the Right Grill

Before purchasing a grill, ask a neighbor to lend you one or see if your local park has grills in their picnic areas. Most households do not utilize their grills often, but if you decide to purchase one, research on which type best fits your needs. For example, when deciding between a gas or coal grill, opt for the gas one since it produces fewer VOCs. Solar or electric grills are also better alternatives. Another tip is to cook your food on an electric stove inside before finishing it off on the grill.


  • Beverage Drink Dispensers

Instead of offering plastic water bottles or drinks in aluminum cans, try filling a beverage drink dispenser with iced tea or lemonade. Need cups? No problem! You can either invite everyone to bring their own cups or give out reusable tumblers as party favors. Here are some University of Rochester tumblers that are available for purchase.


  • Reusable dishware

Consider using reusable dishes and utensils instead of disposable ones. That’s right! It’s time to reach for those nice serving plates you’ve been saving. If you have too many guests to offer washable dishes and cutlery, opt for biodegradable utensils and plates.


  • Local Food

One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to purchase local foods. By doing so, your food won’t have to be transported via ships or trucks which saves gasoline. Not only will you serve fresher ingredients, but also support local businesses. In fact, more than 60 percent of all food items sold and served on the University’s campus are local.


  • Skip the Meat

Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to cut down on the amount of meat you serve. The University once participated in Meatless Monday. Learn more about vegetarianism and veganism from our previous posts.

Here are some yummy non-meat dishes you can consider:


-Veggie Patties                                                -Corn on the Cob

-Veggie Skewers                                              -Potato Salad

-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms                          -Fruit Salad



Written By Emily Su, Class of 2022

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