Summer has arrived and has brought along warmer weather for outdoor gatherings and celebrations. For many of us, it has been some time since we have been able to throw our much-loved outdoor parties. As you start your preparations and planning, here are a couple refreshers for how to save energy (and some money) while planning and hosting your backyard bash.

Let’s Get Ready to Party

  • Maybe sprucing up your yard hasn’t been a priority. As you start to trim those hedges and edge your lawn, use manual tools instead of those powered by electricity.
  • Don’t blast the air inside if you’re going to be outside! Before your guests arrive, increase the temperature on your thermostat so that the air isn't cooling an empty house.
  • Make sure to turn off any indoor ceiling fans. Fans cool people, not rooms.

Sip, Chat, Eat and Celebrate

  • As guests arrive, have them enter through a backyard gate as opposed to the front door. Keeping your door closed helps keep cool air inside and prevents air loss when guests who always forget to close the sliding door do so.
  • All that pre-party cooking can drive up your energy costs. Go potluck style and share the work (and energy costs) of cooking. Prefer to cook everything yourself? Try and prepare your entire meal on the grill.
  • Keep extra bags of ice in your freezer. It operates most efficiently when it’s full.
  • Keep glasses full of cold drinks as temperatures outside heat up.
  • Consider using disposable paper products. Plates, cups, utensils and serving trays that are disposable will not only make cleanup easier, but you won’t have to run the dishwasher as often. Want to keep it green? If using reusable plates and silverware, make sure to only run the dishwasher when it is full.
  • At least one guest will ask if they can plug in their phone charger while they are at your party. Invest in solar chargers. Impress your guests and save electricity.

As the Night Ends

  • Have leftover containers ready to go! When you’re sure everyone has full bellies, transfer the leftovers into them and place them in the fridge all at one time. This reduces opening and closing the fridge door as you clean up – better yet send the leftovers home with your guests!
  • Show your guests the way out by using solar-powered path lights along walkways and the edges of your patios. Solar path lights gather the sun’s energy during the day and then use that energy to light the way once the sun goes down. No electricity needed.
  • Cleaning up platters and dishes? Pre-rinsing dirty dishes is unnecessary, uses energy and can waste water. Most dishwashers can handle a little bit of mess. Just make sure to scrape any excess food into the trash.

Whether you plan to have one backyard party, or you have all your weekends booked with celebrations, be the “host with the most” and save energy and money effortlessly.