Green Grilling Guide: Easy Tips for a Low-Stress, Low-Impact Barbecue

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More than 60 million households will fire up the grill every holiday weekend this summer. A little advance planning can turn those typically wasteful events into a stress-free and sustainable fete. Here are some easy steps for “greening up” your grilling this year!

  1. The Green Grill
    The particulate matter from burning charcoal briquettes contains carbon monoxide and other harmful VOCs, so use a propane, gas or electric grill where possible.  If you do use coal, choose all-natural lump varieties, which eliminate the additives contained in briquettes. 
  2. Ditch those Disposables
    Opt instead for reusable plates, cups, and traditional cutlery. If you must use disposables, look for options made from bamboo, sugar cane or other renewable materials. Then, when your event is over, reuse, recycle or compost as much waste as possible.
  3. Seasonal=Sustainable
    BBQ season is the best time of year to find locally grown fruits and vegetables. Feature fresh produce on the menu – drawing  from your backyard garden, CSA share or local farmers market!
  4. Opt for Organic
    Where possible, choose bulk sizes of organic drinks, or whip up your own fresh iced tea or lemonade. Organic beers and wines are also readily available in most traditional liquor stores. (Seek party planning inspiration from Organic Shaken and Stirred: Hip Highballs, Modern Martinis, And Other Totally Green Cocktails, by Paul Abercrombie.)
  5. It’s all about the Meat
    For many, vegetarian barbecues are simply not a realistic option, so visit sustainable meat retailers in your area to purchase delicious organic and grass-fed options. Because it tends to be leaner than traditional meat, marinate the meat before and during the grilling process to keep it juicy and tender.
  6. Dish up some Dessert
    Try reheating baked goods in a closed grill after the heat is turned off. By the time you are ready for dessert, that rhubarb pie will be at the perfect temperature for a dollop of whipped cream!
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