Guide to Air-Friendly Entertaining

Any time is the right time for a party at home or at the office - and being air friendly only adds to the fun!

If preparing for an outdoor summer fete, make sure you trim your grass with an electric or push lawn mower rather than a gas model. And if you’re planning a barbeque, avoid wood-burning grills that pollute the air. Consider propane instead. If you must use charcoal, you can spare the air by using a briquette starter instead of lighter fluid, which contains high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are hazardous to human health.

If yours is a holiday gathering around the hearth, be sure to replace the wood burning fireplace with gas. In the winter, the Bay Area's 1.4 million woodstoves and fireplaces emit about one-third of the region’s particle pollution — more than all the region’s vehicles. If it’s a typical California winter, playing a DVD of a log burning will bring a cozy feel to the room without the unnecessary heat and wood smoke.

While cleaning your house for the party, be certain to use all-natural, plant-based cleaning solutions. Chemical products emit smog-forming gases.

Chemical air-fresheners also emit toxic fumes that detract from the welcoming aromas of simmering food. Bring a fresh scent—and pop of color—with fresh cut local flowers from the farmers’ market or your own garden.

And, of course, avoid disposable tableware and cutlery. If serving canned and bottled beverages, recycle the containers!

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