How to Have a Sustainable Patio Party Season this Summer, by EP Henry

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The trend toward environmentally friendly parties is growing fast. Whether it is Father’s Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day or a summer birthday celebration, some party traditions will stay the same, but some new ways of being kind to the environment will soon become the unwritten rules of all gatherings.

It’s time to open up the outdoor kitchen, fire up the grill and get the summer started. This summer may be a bit different than those lazy days of the past. Today’s outdoor lifestyle is all about sustainability.

The trend toward environmentally friendly parties is growing fast. Whether it is Father’s Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day or a summer birthday celebration, some party traditions will stay the same, but some new ways of being kind to the environment will soon become the unwritten rules of all gatherings. Adopting one or two sustainable practices can reduce the impact of all gatherings of family and friends this summer.

1. BYOWB. Bring Your Own Water Bottle is the new trend on picnic e-vites. Conscious of the impact single-use plastic water bottles have on the environment, more patio party hosts are asking guests to tote their own reusable vessels. Once relegated only to the hiking and camping crowd, reusable water bottles are staples in every teen’s life these days. Guests will happily bring their own if asked. If guests need to use a cup, supply them with a washable one. Washing dishes is less impactful than plastic recycling.

2. Reusable containers. Using ice buckets, coolers, bowls and other sturdy containers cut down on the need to use flimsy one-use plastic party supplies.

3. Blue bins. If plastic accessories are a must, supply ample opportunities for recycling. Guests are already trained to seek out blue recycling bins. Having multiple on hand, situated next to refuse cans will help guarantee any plastic or paper that the party uses will end up in the right place.

4. Meal planning and sourcing. Planning the meal in advance cuts down on last-minute trips to the store and allows for responsible sourcing. Sourcing meals locally helps reduce the carbon emissions from transportation. Wares from local wineries, distilleries, butchers and farms can be found at farmer’s markets and in many local grocery stories. Enjoy the bounty of summer by sticking with the fruits and vegetables that are in season. A vegan or vegetarian meal cooked on a clean outdoor grill also helps cut down on environmental impact and will delight guests who choose not to eat meat.

5. Reusable decor. Decorations are not necessary for summer fun. Guests are happy to gather in places where the only decor is bright smiles and laughter. But if decor for your outdoor kitchen and patio is necessary, sticking with pieces that can be reused or recycled can help. Silk flowers, washable tablecloths, cloth napkins and bamboo paper towels are good investments for the outdoor decor supply closet. Avoiding balloons, one-use sky lanterns and other non-recyclable decorations is easy to do when many other exciting options like organic candles and biodegradable glitter are available.

6. Clean clean-up. Using microfiber cloths with responsible cleaning products will go a long way in reducing impact on the environment. Many sustainably sourced and non-toxic cleaning products are available on the market today, but simple environmentally friendly solutions using common ingredients like lemon juice or white vinegar can also clean surfaces and accessories. As for the pavers, a simple hosing down is typically all that is needed to spiff up the patio after a party.

Small actions like these can add up to big impact. Summers now are for sustainable fun in the sun.

About EPHenry®
EP Henry provides the highest quality and broadest product offerings in Hardscaping™. From humble beginnings in Edward P. Henry's Woodbury, NJ basement, EP Henry has evolved into the recognized industry leader in Hardscaping product innovation. EP Henry’s ECO Pavers are part of a permeable interlocking pavement system (PICP) that enables rainwater to recharge to the soil. ASTM test methods show ECO Pavers can take on stormwater at a rate of up to 577" per hour. EP Henry is 100% American made, owned, and operated. For more information or a complimentary Idea Catalog, visit EPHenry.com or call 800-44-HENRY (800-444-3679).

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Jennifer Caviness

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