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Tips for Having a Greener Labor Day Picnic

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By Danny Seo

RISMEDIA, September 1, 2008-(MCT)-Now’s your chance to make summer last with an end-of-season picnic. With the right choices, you can make sure your outdoor celebration is fun, simple and as waste-free as possible. In the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens, eco-lifestyle expert and new Contributing Editor Danny Seo offers some easy ways to throw a greener outdoor gathering.

“A waste-free picnic used to be an oxymoron,” says Seo, “but with Labor Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to discover how easy it is to make an impact on your guests, not the landfill.”

- Plates: “Eco-Disposable” isn’t an oxymoron when you use dinnerware made from compostable, recyclable paper. Look for Chinet Casuals in your supermarket (about $3 for 44 plates). Heavy Duty Whole Foods 365 bowls and plates are made from renewable biodegradable sugar cane. Or, avoid disposables entirely and use reusable containers.

- Utensils: Stock up on biodegradable utensils made from potato scraps, corn starch and bio-resins. Yes, they can be used for cold and hot foods! (250 sets for $46 greenhome.com)

- Wrap it Up: Ditch plastic bags for aluminum foil-make an aluminum ‘pocket’ and fill with chips and cookies. When done, use crumpled foil to scrub the grill clean and recycle.

- Napkins: For a small gathering, try inexpensive colorful bandanas. They’re sturdy, soft, and machine washable for reuse. Or, look for napkins made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

- Bug Off: Fend off the critters with natural bug repellents that contain fewer chemicals and toxins. Natrapel has an insect repellent that’s DEET-free and effective for all but the most mosquito-infested areas.

© 2008, Better Homes and Gardens.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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