This May (2021), I returned to Cityline with Tracy Moore—North America’s longest-running daytime talk show for women—for a segment all about ideas for an eco and pandemic-friendly backyard BBQ (or beach cookout)!
I shared some ideas for eco-friendly products, food and drink, and just an overall reminder about how we can all make a difference, make the planet healthier, by being intentional about what we buy.
And read on for more details about the products!
Note: products featured on the show were sourced by me, and provided by the individual companies.
I started the segment by prepping for some delicious BBQ outside. With the main dish, meats, you can grill them right on the spot outside (anywhere!) using something called a CasusGrill. These are an amazing invention—a sustainable, one-time use, instant grill that sets up and gets hot in under 5 minutes and offers up to an hour of cooking time. You just need a lighter and this compact, biodegradable box to get grilling.
The CasusGrill is made of sustainable materials, charcoal, lava stone, bamboo, and cardboard. Everything is biodegradable except the lava stones. It emits less carbon dioxide than any other grill out there.
I got bison flank, wagyu hot dogs and jalapeño and cheddar smokies at a local butcher in Edmonton, The Butchery by RGE RD. They suggested 2-3 minutes per side for a medium rare flank, and a few minutes to heat up the pre-cooked hot dogs and smokies.
If you want to be even more eco-friendly, you can always stick to grilling an assortment of vegetables!
Use these portable eco-friendly grills at the beach, park, fishing trip, hiking or conveniently in your backyard. It makes a fun cooking demo for physically distant guests too.
Charcuterie boards, you know platters with different meats, cheese, crackers, pickled vegetables, are so common and often a staple at parties pre-pandemic, but they don’t really work right now—you don’t want so many hands touching the same board!
So here’s an idea for individual, eco-friendly appetizers. Say goodbye to charcuterie and hello to JAR-cuterie!!
Assemble your favourite items right into an individual jar that anyone attending your physically distanced outdoor gathering can have all for themselves. Then keep and reuse the jar afterwards!
I asked my local market Meuwly’s for advice on how best to assemble my jarcuterie, and am passing on that knowledge to you but you can ask your local butcher too!
I made vegetable and cheese jars, meat and cheese, and meat, cheese, crackers and vegetable jars! You can really put whatever you want in it. My jars included beer chipotle mustard on the bottom as a dip, A layer of Gouda or chaga cheddar cheese, a mix of meats—salami, coppa, mortadella—and you can top with spicy garlic pickles or pickled asparagus. You want some items to pop out of the jar for fun! But you can really load up your jarcuterie with whatever you want—vegetables or cured meats or otherwise.
And if you’re transporting these to a beach, be sure to keep these jars covered with beeswax sustainable food wrap which can form around your items!
SUSTAINABLE FOOD WRAP:
There’s a Nova Scotia based Beezy Wrap or B.C. based Nature Bee Wraps that ship across Canada, local to me (Edmonton) beeswax companies too (check my Sustainably-Focused Edmonton Businesses blog post) and would be local beeswax businesses wherever you are located too!
Something to consider for your safe and eco-friendly gathering is to encourage everyone to bring their own cutlery. Maybe grab some from your kitchen OR order some reusable cutlery designed to be carried on the go—like these sets from Winnipeg business IReuse2.
Each and every day, 100 million disposable plastic utensils end up in landfills.
We can do our part to stop this waste simply by bringing our own utensils wherever we go. Choose to use these luxury, hygienic, and stylish, stainless steel utensils that also ship across Canada.
IReuse2 offers nine colours as well as kids sets in five designer colours. You can reduce the use of single use plastics (IReuse2 havs sold so many sets that they’ve actually eliminated 15 million pieces of just plastic forks out of landfills already—imagine what we can do in a life time!!)
When you’re thinking of party drinks, look in your area to see which local restaurants are offering pre-made, pre-batched cocktails!
This has become increasingly common and popular since the pandemic began—can’t pop into a restaurant for their cocktails, that’s okay, order a kit to quickly make at home, or get a ready-made bottle.
El Beso, a Mexican Restaurant here in Edmonton sells pre-batched cocktails, old fashioned and beergarita kits. They all come in glass bottles—which is of course much better for the environment than plastic. For the segment, I featured ready-made Guava Margarita or an Old Fashioned.
You can also try to find compostable or biodegradable cups or ask guests to bring their own reusable cups for your eco friendly party!
There’s a Canadian company called Greenmunch that specializes in sustainable party wares, like compostable cups, and they do ship across the country as well.
It’s pretty common to just pop into a dollar store or the closest grocer and grab some styrofoam or plastic party cups or plates but making a conscious choice to order compostable, biodegradable, or consider whether you can use glass serving bottles versus plastic—all of these simple actions can make a huge difference for the environment.
5. Whip up some Mason Jar Desserts
This is the year for the jar-renascence! It’s just amazing all the things you can stuff in a jar to make not only a safe, individual dish or treat, but also a sustainable one too.
For this segment, I made a really simple strawberry “cake in a jar” dessert using just three ingredients: store-bought angel food or sponge cake (cheat! Don’t stress lol you don’t have to make it from scratch!), strawberries, and whipped cream.
But you can really put any of your favourite fruits and sweet treats in jar form! They’ll taste really good and look super cute too.
Sustainable thinking should be applied to choices you make for even your decor or everyday items. For the Cityline segment, I set up the items on an eco-friendly blanket from Tofino Towel Co., a B.C.-based business that also ships across Canada.
Tofino Towel Co. focuses on sustainable design. Their products are made with fair-trade artisans using natural materials, made to be eco-friendly and multi-purpose.
Tofino Towel products are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Certified), Oeko-Tex (No harmful dye certified), Control Union Certified, Global Recycling Certified, IOAS Certified (International Organic and Sustainable Accreditation) certified. Their products are made to last.
Beach or picnic blanket, or indoor blanket—the multipurpose means you can do more but own less. More Canadians want to use products that are mindfully made and there’s lots of sustainable options. If you’re not sure, ASK the company what they’re doing to be eco-friendly, or purposely seek out companies that proudly share their sustainable practices and mission.
So there are just a few ways and a few great Canadian products that can help you create an eco-friendly, pandemic-friendly, physically distant outdoor gathering. (Please follow current pandemic restrictions).
Thanks again to Cityline for having me on the show! I love being a “lifestyle expert” and can’t wait for another opportunity to show you some food, lifestyle, or travel trends.
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