Make a casual #cookout more #sustainable by using accessories such as compostable paper plates and bamboo cutlery and reusable linen or cotton napkins, Martha Stewart suggests. Another idea to make the event more #ecofriendly is to serve low-impact foodstuffs such as chicken, fish and vegetables rather than beef, says Move for Hunger, and use a gas grill to reduce carbon emissions. Save leftovers to avoid food waste, make recycling easy for guests by labeling waste bins and compost food scraps to enrich your soil at a later date. #CasualCookout
If you want to have a cookout that’s “more of an event than just a few guys grilling some burgers,” Real Men Real Style says, send invites ahead of time via social media. Then, tidy up the yard to keep things presentable, #uncluttered and safe. Pick quality ingredients for the grill and dress for the event: “There are plenty of outfit options that will keep your temperature down while maintaining [a] level of style.” Breathable fabrics such as linen and cotton are best for tending a grill in hot weather, and light colors soak up less sun. On a budget? Shop for lightly used summery styles at the #thrift stores supplied by #donations to ClothingDonations.org. #ClassyCookout
Want to add a touch of class to your #cookout? Make your table settings sophisticated, says Havenly Hideaway. Use fresh flowers, a tablecloth and real plates instead of paper and plastic, and set the table in advance before serving up dishes family-style. Make a batch of a signature cocktail to your barbecue feel more like a special event, the site adds: “Pick something that’s easy to make, like punch or a margarita, so you can put out a big pitcher for everyone to try.” If some of your guests are younger or teetotalers, you can leave the alcohol out of the blend or serve it on the side. #ClassyCookout
Summer means outdoor living, and there’s nothing quite like hosting a #cookout to bring family and friends together. You can keep things casual with crowd-pleasing classics such as burgers, brats and cole slaw, Delish says, or take things up a notch with chicken kebabs, grilled oysters or lime shrimp. Be sure to include a good side such as potato salad or grilled vegetables, and a quick-grab dessert such as s’mores or watermelon. Whatever’s on the menu, keep it low-key: Turn on the Bluetooth speaker and set up a lawn game, and guests are guaranteed to get some good vibes. #CasualCookout
Regular followers of The Organizing Blog know that #donations of used clothing and household goods to ClothingDonations.org go toward programs that help #veterans pay for food, housing, health care and other necessities.
But did you know that Vietnam Veterans of America’s local chapters throughout the country also host #fundraisers that get veterans more involved with each other and their communities — while also helping veterans in need?
Veterans put the “fun” in fundraisers with parades, car shows, barbecue cook-offs and more. In doing so, they sustain chapter outreach and good works in the community, supplementing and building upon the proceeds from #donations of used goods.
Texarkana Chapter 278, for example, hosts a Wagons for Veterans fundraiser that gives locals a taste of the chuckwagon-style cooking of the Old West. The all-you-can-eat feast draws thousands of patrons for a full day of festivities every year.
Chapter 116 in Leominster, Mass., holds a fundraiser that sells locals guesses as to when a mannequin seated on a lifeguard’s perch, “Rocky,” will fall through pond ice during the spring thaw. The closest entry to the exact time wins $500, and veterans get the rest.
Many chapters sell flags, wreaths and walkway bricks to place in honor of those who served. Some hold outdoor festivals, 5Ks and charity motorcycle rides. And more host luncheons, dinners and dances, often inviting interesting guest speakers.
In addition to supporting member veterans, every chapter uses some of the money raised to give back to its community. They award college scholarships to local students, march in parades, build memorials, donate to local food pantries and much more.
If you can attend a local event, great! You’ll take part in the fun. But also remember that every time you #declutter and contact ClothingDonations.org for a free #donation #pickup, you are #donating not just to area #veterans, but to the entire community.