Long, sunny days, tasty food and good company make the perfect recipe for a backyard barbeque. While it’s important for everyone to have a good time, you also want to be conscious of ways to keep energy waste low. Check out the tips below to make sure your next summer party is a success for your guests, the environment and your bill!

Get creative in the kitchen. Use the oven as little as possible to avoid heating up the house in already-hot weather. Try to incorporate no-bake dishes or utilize devices that consume less energy, like a crockpot, toaster oven or microwave oven.

Enjoy the outdoors. The more people you have in your home, the warmer it gets, which can cause your cooling costs to climb as you try to keep everyone comfortable. Instead, encourage guests to spend time outside. Schedule the party for early evening to avoid peak temperatures, and keep cool by playing water games or taking a dip in the pool.

Get your grill on. Grilling is a great energy-efficient way to prepare delicious food. If possible, consider using a natural gas grill, which produces less carbon emissions than a charcoal grill.

Keep things chill. Opening and closing the fridge frequently wastes energy and increases your carbon footprint. For drinks and other items that need to be kept cold, use coolers or tubs filled with ice.

Ditch the plastic plates. Using reusable cutlery and dishes is eco-friendly and cost-effective. If you do go with disposable, make sure you search out biodegradable or recyclable options.