Project Envolve™ is a program sponsored primarily by PPL Electric Utilities with the mission of helping us all save more and use less electricity. I’ve been provided with complimentary products as an Ambassador for the program in exchange for sharing these ideas and my own use of them with you. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Ah, summer. I do love you…for a while. The freedom from the alarm clock and from packing school lunch every day is a super win in my book. But by this time, late summer, I’m starting to yearn for some structure again. My kids have started to lose interest in entertaining themselves and more often than I’d care to admit I’m telling them to shut down the Kindles and turn off the TV. And if I’m being honest, I have no room to talk. My laptop and phone are usually pretty close to wherever I am.
Given all that happy late-summer waaaah, this month’s Project Envolve Mission could not have been timed more perfectly. The goal: Entertain outside without using electricity. FUN, right? And surprisingly easy. My Mom was visiting from out-of-state when we took on the task and we all had a ball. So before I tell you how we partied hard, let me tell you WHY we got our electricity-free groove on.
5 Reasons to Unplug and Get Outside
- It’s FUN! Nothing with a screen provides the kind of fun you can have with your family and friends in the great outdoors. Even if you’re not super outdoorsy (that’s me, folks), your backyard is a treasure trove of good ole’ fashioned fun.
- Finding and using energy-efficient outdoor lighting is easy. This is something you can easily do in an hour one weekend. Hit up your local Home Depot or other favorite store, get some solar powered lighting, and install it. And by install I mean stick it in the ground. It could NOT have been easier.
- No fat wallet required. This stuff isn’t pricey. We’re not talking about hundreds of dollars worth of lighting. We spent about $70 on our outdoor lights. It’s very affordable for night after night of energy-saving light.
- Unplug the kids from their screens. Okay, and their parents. I am never too far from my phone myself. It feels so good to shut it all off and go hang out as a family. Some of our best times are just spending time together without our devices. Duh. Of course!
- It’s tasty! I mean seriously. We’re talking about grilled food, s’mores over the fire pit, and Pop Couture Ice Pops. What’s not to love? No pots and pans to wash, no hot oven making me sweat in the kitchen. This is a total win.
Now for the fun part! Here are the things we came up with to get outside, get unplugged, and have a blast together!
10 Activities for an Electricity-Free Outdoor Party
- Grill dinner. This is my favorite way to eat anyway. Mostly because my husband is in charge of the grill so I’m off the hook, but really, it’s because everything is better on the grill! Including the lack of dishes in the sink. Find out more about why grilling is more energy efficient than cooking inside.
- Warm up with a fire pit. There’s no atmosphere like the one around a fire pit on a cool summer night. The flames and smoke even keep the bugs away, plus they keep you warm, and let’s not forget reason #3….
- S’mores! If you’re going to have a fire pit you need to be making s’mores. No brainer. And if by chance you don’t have a fire pit, make them on the grill! Wrap the whole shabang up in aluminum foil and grill for a few minutes til the marshmallow gets gooey. YUM!
- Outdoor lighting. Set the mood and keep your party area lit with some pretty outdoor lights. We grabbed a set of 6 ground lights at Home Depot and I love these! They were so easy to install and are really durable. We’ve had some serious storms since we put them in the ground and they didn’t move at all and are still lighting up the night. I love how they look around our patio.
- Glow bowling. This is SO much harder than it looks which makes it hilarious fun. My poor Mom. I gave her the hardest time for taking like 10 tries to knock down one pin. Then I took a turn and failed even more miserably. WHY is this so hard?! I have no idea but you need to try it and tell me if you are a better shot than I am. All you need are some glow sticks, a ball that rolls, and a relatively flat surface to set it up. Don’t have a real flat surface? Try using water bottles and pop the glow sticks in there to get them to stand up. They look SO cool! You can get the directions here.
- Flashlight tag. Omigosh, this was SO fun for the kids and my husband! I wonder what the neighbors must have thought with them all hiding behind trees in the backyard in the dark. This flashlight is solar powered which I really love because I don’t know about you but every time I actually NEED a flashlight, the batteries are dead. If you don’t know how to play: The person with the flashlight is ‘it’ and counts while the other players hide. When they find a player, they shine the flashlight on them and trade roles. It’s awesome!
- Mason Jar Solar Lights. I’d never seen these before this mission and I love them. These lids fit your mason jars and light up at night. You can fill them with colorful stones and really get creative. Perfect table lighting!
- Camp in you backyard. We didn’t take it quite this far. This is pushing the limits of my comfort zone to be honest but I think I can camp in my own backyard. I’m going to try it before the summer is over. But what a fun way to unplug for the entire night and leave all the lights off inside! My kids are pretty pumped up about this idea.
- Sparklers! What’s more fun on a dark night than sparklers? Easy entertainment. And if you’re worried about sparks flying off and burning little hands cut a hole in the bottom of a plastic cup and let the kids keep their hand inside the cup to hold the end of the sparkler. Great little idea I saw on Pinterest!
- Enjoy a cold treat like Pop Couture Popsicles! A yummy way to cool off with nothing to cook. That’s a win in my book.
Pop Couture is local to Baltimore and makes hand-crafted, DELICIOUS popsicles made primarily of local and all organic, vegan ingredients. Their flavors are so unique and really good. They’re bursting with real flavors of fruit and herbs. We got to sample Raspberry Mojito (my favorite!), Mango, and Peach Basil Balsamic. They were fantastic. Just check out some of these other flavors.
- Vanilla Peach Spice
- Watermelon Cucumber Lime
- Strawberry Basil Lemonade
- Kale Smoothie
- Cherry Chocolate Chunk
- Blackberry Mojito
Don’t they sound amazing? And they are! The flavors are so fresh and delicious and definitely unique. Want to find out if and when they’ll be coming to a market near you? Follow on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with their latest news.
Visit the Project Envolve website for more great posts about saving energy (and money!). Be sure to check out my fellow Project Envolve Bloggers posts for this mission in the linky below, too. Love their ideas!
You can check out my other Project Envolve Missions too!