GREEN GRILLING

Lump Charcoal

Firing up the grill this weekend? Did you know that your barbecue can be more sustainable? Here are some ideas for greener grilling …

BURN, BABY, BURN

Charcoal or propane: the ultimate grilling grudge match. What is more environmentally sound? With all of the factors considered, propane is more sustainable than charcoal.

Charcoal may be derived from natural and renewable resources, but it can contribute to deforestation. Charcoal briquettes often contain chemical additives and fillers that can infiltrate your food, stifle the air and leave a bad taste in your mouth – literally. Borax and sawdust … yum. (Not really.) A traditional charcoal grill also emits more harmful pollutants. While it is produced from finite resources, propane offers a cleaner burn.

If you are a charcoal fan, though, all is not lost. Lump charcoal is a healthier choice for you and the environment. Consider lump charcoal that is natural, carbon-neutral and certified by The Forest Stewardship Council.

Mesquite and raw wood chips certified by The Forest Stewardship Council and The Rainforest Alliance are other sources of sustainable fuel as well.

LIGHT MY FIRE

Come on, baby … light my fire – but not with lighter fluid. Lighter fluids also contain harmful chemicals that can seep into your food when they are burned. Try a chimney charcoal starter or electric charcoal starter to grill green.

(CUE AUSTRALIAN ACCENT) THROW ANOTHER SUSTAINABLY SOURCED SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE

WHAT you grill is just as important as HOW you grill. For a healthier and more environmentally sound barbecue, choose locally raised meats, sustainably sourced seafood and locally grown produce. You’ll support your local economy, reap the benefits of fresh food and reduce your environmental impacts.

TALKIN’ TRASH

At your barbecue, be sure to watch your wasteline. You read that correctly. Not your WAISTline. Your WASTEline. As Queen said, ‘don’t throw it all away!’ Choose reusable dinnerware instead of disposable dinnerware to reduce your waste. If you cannot use reusable dinnerware, then try recyclable, compostable or biodegradable dinnerware.

Recycle as much as possible, and use bio-based cleaners instead of chemical cleaners to tidy the grill.

FOR MORE INFORMATION …

How to Go Green Guide: Barbecues from TREEHUGGER

Green Grilling from MOTHER NATURE NETWORK

Your Guide to a Green Tailgate from JUST ENERGY

How to Use a Charcoal Chimney from THE GRILLING SPOT

Find a Farmer’s Market from LOCAL HARVEST

The Smart Seafood Buying Guide from NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

26 Genius Ways to Use Barbecue Leftovers from FOOD NETWORK

15 Things You Can Make With Barbecue Leftovers from BRIT + CO

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