July 12, 2014

That Time I Hosted a Plastic Free BBQ...

Today's Blog Everyday in July prompt is:
What is the fear you want to overcome?
I really just don't have one. So I'm going to skip the prompt and blog about Plastic Free July instead!

Anyone who has been following my PFJ adventure may be wondering how the heck you have a BBQ that is plastic free. I think I already listed some of the things I planned to do  to execute it but here's how it went down:
Step 1) Compostable trash bags
 Step 2) Reusable utensils (also napkins but paper wasn't on trial here)
 Step 3) Make my own stuff
 Step 4) Enjoy!
I forgot to get a photo of the hot food. So all in all here's what had to be done to make the bbq (single use) plastic free:
  • Homemade yogurt which became homemade ranch dip. This could easily be made into ranch dressing by adding a bit of milk.
  • Carrots, celery, broccoli, and corn on the cob purchased from a store (or farmer's market) that doesn't package them in plastic/opting for the un-packaged ones.
  • Watermelon, pineapple, and honeydew purchased that isn't packaged in plastic. I just had to buy the whole version instead of the pre-cut packaged version which is what I would do anyway. I did have to skip strawberries, grapes, etc.
  • Reusable cups and dishes. I own reusable plastic for when I have friends over to minimize breakage.  
  • Homemade ice. This sounds easier than it is and requires constant refilling and dumping of ice trays the week leading up to the party so that ice doesn't have to be purchased in a bag. 
  • Condiments in glass jars. I considered making them but opted not to in case they came out gross and I'd have to buy them anyway.
  • Beverages: soda in cans instead of bottles. Luckily Walmart had cases of Coke products on sale when I bought it. Guests were instructed to leave soft drinks to me and to instead bring a bottle of wine and refuse the plastic bag at the store. Not sure if they really accomplished the bag part, but I hope they did. Also I made a cocktail using blue curacao, vodka, and lemonade (paper carton).
  • Burger meat: brought my own container to the meat counter which was tared on the scale.
  • Homemade burger buns which were re-purposed for hot dogs. I told my roommate to make some in hot dog shape but he neglected to.
  • We thought we could get sausage from the meat counter (to be wrapped in wax paper) but turns out not-so-much. However my roommate works at a restaurant that happened to be selling their hot dogs frozen in 8 packs due to it being hot dog month (apparently), so we were able to get them not packaged in plastic. 
  • And finally, chocodoodles (snickerdoodles with chocolate chips) for dessert. Snickerdoodles don't use brown sugar which make them plastic free. The problem was the chocolate chips. I think I forgot about baking chocolate because that is usually not packaged in plastic. But on my way to checkout I spotted a king-size M&Ms which uses a paper bag! So they were M&M-doodles which were just as good! So good inf act that they were almost gone before dinner was served.


  1. Nice, a plastic free july is a great idea, I am sometimes shocked at how much packaging and disposables I bring home!

    1. I know! It's not easy to be plastic free and while I am trying for 100% I'm coming in around 90% at best. It's pretty impossible without being Amish, and even they use a lot of plastic products.