Stay energy efficient this summer with tips from NextStepLiving! Read on to discover ways to host an energy efficient barbecue.
It might be a little rainy this week, but soon enough early summer weather will be in full-swing. We're excited for summer fun, like barbecues, picnics and lots of get-togethers to start the season. If you’re hosting an event this month, don’t forget to get the party started with these energy-efficient tips for when you’ve got a crowd.
1. Take advantage of the great outdoors. One of the simplest ways to decrease your carbon footprint is by enjoying picture-perfect temperatures outside and turning off your air conditioning. Stay cool with umbrellas on picnic tables and plenty of water. If you’re grilling, look for a natural gas grill to halve carbon emissions compared to a charcoal grill.
2. But if you’re inside, be smart. If you don’t have a big backyard, you can still keep your home comfortable and energy-efficient. Open up windows instead of blasting the air conditioner, and place box fans in windows in high-trafficked rooms to cool them down faster. Remember: A fan is only helpful if people are in the room. Consider light-colored drapery to add more shade to rooms, too.
3. Make your prepwork energy-efficient, too. Cooking inside? Do it before people arrive so your place has a chance to cool down, cook multiple items at once to reduce stove time and keep your oven door closed while cooking.
Even better, try to stick to non-stove items (you can use your microwave oven for small dishes instead) to reduce energy consumption. Keep coolers on hand to store drinks and food instead of opening and closing your fridge every time.
4. Pick the proper lighting. If your party is headed into the evening, make sure you’re using energy-efficient bulbs like CFLs (like the ones you can receive at no or low-cost during a home energy assessment) in your lighting fixtures. Make it a habit to turn off lights in rooms that no one is frequenting.
5. Keep your plates green. Having just a few friends over? Consider using your own dishware to cut down on trash. If you own an Energy Star-rated dishwasher, using it will actually save energy compared to hand-washing dishes. If you must buy plates, look for something that’s reusable and eco-friendly, such as plates made of corn-based materials.
(Original article here: http://www.nextstepliving.com/blog/how-host-energy-efficient-summer-barbecue)