Seven Ways to Host the Greenest BBQ Ever!

Summer BBQ season is here! It’s a time for summer gatherings full of party recyclables, and a great time to refresh your memory on how to reduce, reuse and recycle right. Follow the 7 tips below and not only will you be keeping America beautiful this summer, you will impress your guests with the greenest BBQ ever!

-Set up for success. Make a point to direct your guests to clearly marked recycling and trash bins so they can help you sort during the party. It gets messy when the bottles mix with potato salad!

-Use pitchers for beverages such as water, lemonade and iced tea.Instead of buying personal-sized beverage containers, make your beverages (homemade raspberry lemonade, anyone?) and serve them in pitchers. Which leads us to…

-Provide a marker next to plastic cups so guests can write their names on the cups. BBQ party guests can easily lose track of their drinks and therefore use more than one cup. By giving them a way to mark their drink it will help them to use less. Encourage your guests to get creative with their signatures!

-Collect plastic wrap separately for a drop-off. Plastic grocery bags, hot dog and hamburger bun bags, bags of ice – these plastic bags are also recyclable but not in the curbside recycling bin. Find a retailer near you that collects them:

-Choose reusable or compostable dishware and utensils. Time to bust out your good silverware! To lighten the trash load, consider using regular plates and utensils rather than disposable. If you have composting services available, compostable plates and utensils may be an option for you, too.

-Remember that many of the BBQ staples can be recycled. Dip containers, salsa jars and cracker boxes.

-Know the compostable food scraps. If you’re a backyard composter, collect those foods scraps for your compost bin. Here is a quick tip sheet from our friends at EPA:

Keep Stockwell Beautiful, Inc Stockwell, IN

Sungro Horticulture in Quincy, Michigan donates 48 bags of professional growing mix to Keep Stockwell Beautiful, Inc. This mix will be used to fill new brick flower boxes in town. The mix will be used for the new butterfly area in the James Cole Outdoor Education Center.

Sungro has been an active support organization for KSB. There growing mix has insured the beauty of our flowers and plants throughout town.

Pictured left to right is Kyle Leosh, production supervisor, Kris Ziller, KSB Chair and Dan Johnson plant manager.


Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint Michigan

I’m in DC building picnic tables with one of our favorite corporate partners at the KAB conference. It may be snowing to the north, but things are heating up here with some great conference sessions and resources along with amazing peers from across the country.

Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful

On October 29, Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA), a Land Trust in midcoast Maine, undertook its most ambitious trail-improvement project yet. Thanks to cooperation among PWA, The Carpenter’s Boat Shop (CBS), Damariscotta River Association (DRA), and Lowe’s, five bridges at a popular nature preserve that basically disintegrated last year have been replaced. A team of 38 people worked all day hauling lumber and supplies over a mile into the preserve, deconstructing the old bridges, and constructing the new ones. Volunteers at CBS, which is located adjacent to the preserve, had cut the lumber prior to the project day. The team’s hard labor has made public access to Crooked Farm Preserve in Bristol, Maine, significantly safer and easier.
Funding for this project came from a $10,000 Lowe’s “Community Partner” cash grant to PWA. PWA’s grant award was one of more than 60 merit-based grants awarded nationally by Lowe’s to community-based affiliates of Keep America Beautiful to support grassroots service projects. PWA’s Keep Pemaquid Peninsula Beautiful initiative was certified as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful just in May 2014.
A crew of 32 volunteers and one staffperson from each of the three nonprofits worked alongside three employees of the Thomaston Lowe’s including Rachel Wade, Scott Naegely, and Sarah Greene, who participated via the “Lowe’s Heroes” program that encourages employees to volunteer for community service. There were 14 CBS volunteers, including crew leader Sarah Highland and Director Kim Hoare, and 8 DRA volunteers, including DRA Stewardship Director Steve Spencer (Crooked Farm Preserve is co-managed with DRA). There were 11 PWA volunteers, including PWA volunteer Jim Hatch, the Steward for Crooked Farm Preserve, who managed the project. Hatch planned the work, including acquiring all the lumber and materials and engineering the bridge construction. Carolyn Shubert, PWA’s Program Coordinator, facilitated the volunteers and helped lug lumber and materials. PWA Board Member Mike Kane photographed the event. Volunteers were treated to a tee-shirt and lunch.
Thanks to the generous Lowe’s grant, PWA was able to make a donation of $1,500 to CBS for all their work on the project. “Getting the chance to make a sizable donation to our neighboring nonprofit, The Carpenter’s Boat Shop, is a dream come true for me. It feels so good to be able to pay it forward!”, said Donna Minnis, PWA’s Executive Director, who spearheaded the grantwriting. “This whole project could not have turned out better,” she added. PWA thanks CBS, DRA, all the volunteers, Keep America Beautiful, and Lowe’s for their Heroes and funding. PWA’s mission is to conserve the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula through land and water stewardship and education. To learn more about PWA, visit

Keep Morehouse Beautiful, Bastrop, LA

Located in rural northeast Louisiana, Keep Morehouse Beautiful partnered with the Morehouse Parish School System to provide trash receptacles and to eliminate campus safety hazards at the Morehouse Parish Magnet School. Additionally, by making needed repairs and improvements to the exterior of the building, first impressions of the nationally recognized “A” rated school were greatly enhanced. The partnership with the Morehouse Parish School System enabled the project to accomplish more than had been originally projected.

KAB of Anderson County SC

KAB of Anderson County (SC) is looking into a new outreach. There has been a noticeable increase in litter on the county’s horse riding trails. KAB will be encouraging riders to pick up litter on sections of riding trails. This effort will increase the perception that riders should “pack it out if you pack it in.”

Anderson County has the second highest number of horses in the state and is home to many recreational riders. Anderson County horse trails are a beautiful and relaxing part of our area and should be appreciated as the treasure they are! Two riders, Will Smith and Ed Sheriff, discussed their concerns with KAB members and Solid Waste Dept department staff and were picking up litter at Fants Grove on Sept. 22.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful, Flint, Michigan

Even on a Sunday with temperatures hovering just over 50 degrees, volunteers are hard at work improving the playground area in Longway Park. Local volunteers who include a city councilman, a local business owner, and several neighborhood residents, are all members of the Potter Longway Neighborhood Association which proudly participates in KGCB’s Adopt A Park program. Using funds from KGCB’s Lowe’s Community Improvement grant, playgrounds, benches and pavilions in parks throughout Flint are being painted, repaired and improved. If temperatures are too low for painting (50 degrees or lower) volunteers are still in the parks scraping, laying safety mulch, replacing wood on benches and bleachers, and whatever other tasks need to be done. Fall weather is unpredictable in Michigan, but what’s for certain is our volunteers are heating things up thanks to KAB and the Lowe’s Community Improvement program.