Canadians are trying to simultaneously beat the recession and global warming in their own way — even from the comfort of their backyard barbecue bashes.

Edith Jakobs, the owner of Toronto-based Opulence Catering, has noticed a shift in her clients’ preferences this summer. Serving much of Ontario’s Cottage Country, where evening brunches and outdoor soirées abound, Jakobs has seen her clients make a concerted move toward what’s best for the environment.

“As the summer months heat up, my office is flooded with phone calls to cater and style outdoor parties,” said Jakobs.

“However, this summer my clients are much more concerned about making their events environmentally-friendly without hurting their pocketbook.”

Jakobs says simplicity is her No. 1 principle for eco-entertaining, and adds there are many ways to throw an environmentally conscious party with ease.

• Visit a farmers’ market for fruits and vegetables. Locally grown produce has a lower carbon footprint because it hasn’t travelled over a great distance, which also means it’s the freshest.

• By choosing wine from a local vineyard, you are lowering shipping emissions. Also, consider purchasing wine in a Tetra Pak carton, which can be reprocessed.

• Use your own dishes; wash with biodegradable soap.

• Decorate with wildflowers that are grown locally.

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