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Eco-friendly BBQ Ideas

May 26, 2014

eco-friendly_bbq_ideasEco-friendly BBQ ideas for this summer! Whether you prefer a vegetarian feast or ribs and steaks, here are a few tips on making your summer BBQ eco-friendly:

CHOOSE GAS OR PROPANE OVER CHARCOAL. While many folks love the way a charcoal grill flavors food, it is not the cleanest eco-friendly BBQ ideas.  Charcoal burns dirty and releases soot particles in the air that can worsen chronic heart and lung problems. If you must use charcoal, suggests the Rainforest Alliance Smartwood program’s certified Char-Broil products, including the mesquite and hickory wood chips. Also when using charcoal, avoid petroleum based lighter fluids and self-lighting charcoal. These release petrochemicals into the atmosphere

Looking for the cleanest option available? Opt for electric! Electric grills are the cleanest since they release 99% less carbon monoxide and 91% less carbon dioxide than charcoal.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GRILLING.  Did you know that worldwide agriculture, especially livestock production, accounts for about a fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions? What you grill is as important as what you use to grill according to University of Michigan environmental engineering professor Steve Skerlos.   Filling the grill with local/organic vegetables make the least impact on our environment. When purchasing poultry or meat for your BBQ be sure to opt for:

  • grass-fed
  • free-range
  • hormone-free
  • locally raised

FILL THE GRILL. Steaks, chicken and veggies on the menu? Be sure to load up the grill as much as possible to reduce carbon output and reduce cooking time. Also, plan your cooking time to correspond to when your grill is ready and don’t leave you grill burning any longer than you need to.

GREEN CLEAN. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean your grill. Kitchen Daily suggests using a baking soda paste and a wire brush to clean the grate before grilling. During the cookout, scrape the grill while it’s still hot to keep it clean for your next grilling adventure. Also, to keep your grill at peak performance,  clean out your grill regularly. Build up of grease and food particles in your grill will produce unnecessary smoke.

FINALIZE THE  GUEST LIST.  Avoid waste by confirming your guest list before going to the grocery store so as not to overbuy or leave leftovers that will go to waste. If you do end-up with extras after the big feast, send home leftovers with guests to enjoy the next day.

SET A GREEN TABLE. Now that you have prepared a delicious eco-friendly meal for friends and family, set an eco-friendly table to enjoy your meal! Minimize the use of disposable plates, napkins, cups, and single serving packages. Opt for reusable dinner wear and fresh flowers for your table.  And when it’s time to clean up, be sure to recycle what you can, and use natural cleaning products.

Have eco-friendly BBQ ideas for this summer? We would love to hear them!


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