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Smarter Summer Soirées

Date: 23-Jan-13

Smarter summer soirees © Zo Zhou

It makes sense that when we’re celebrating the things we love about our country on Australia Day that we’d to want to take care of the place, too. So whether you’re having a traditional Aussie BBQ or visiting the beach to relax, you can show Australia you care.  

...for eco-feasting:

  • Keep it classy and serve your feast from real plates and baking trays or well-loved wooden chopping boards rather than relying on disposable dishes. As a last resort, opt for compostable serveware, and make sure to actually compost it afterwards! If you must use aluminium foil or foil trays, give them a quick clean then scrunch them up for recycling in your kerbside collection.
  • Meats have a much bigger impact on the environment than vegetables, so why not give veges a bit more space on the barbie? Mushrooms, capsicum, eggplant, pineapple and zucchini all grill up nicely, so do vege burger recipes!
  • Chill leftovers as soon as you can to safely use them the next day. Instead of using cling wrap or aluminium foil, cover leftovers with bowls or plates, or store in reusable containers. They're actually even easier to stack in the fridge that way.
  • Have a stack of takeaway food containers on hand to dish out the leftovers for guests to take with them or ask them to bring their own re-usable containers. 

...when drinking up:

  • Ditch the unnecessary disposable bottle and drink tap water in reusable bottles or cups. 
  • Make a few cardboard boxes into mini recycling bins and label them so it's super easy to clean up bottles, cans, plastic bags and cardboard packaging afterwards. 
  • If it has been a big party, crush the aluminium cans and plastic bottles to make more space in your recycling bin and, if there's too much for one bin, store it in a cardboard box until the next collection. 
  • ...And if you really want to go that extra mile (or kilometre) use this neat little trick to recycle your steel bottle tops.

Leave only footprints...

One very important thing to remember at celebrations such as Australia Day, is to responsibly dispose of any rubbish you create on the day. Try and keep it to a minimum first of all, and keep your eyes out for rubbish bins and public place recycling facilities provided by your local council. You can always collect the rubbish and recycling from your event and take it home to your usual household collection bins.   

Got more tips or photos to share with us? Send them to and we'll share our favourites on our Planet Ark or I Heart Recycling Facebook page. 

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