It’s safe to say with Memorial Day weekend around the corner, we are in grilling season, and with that comes the decision about how to do it in the greenest way possible.
Step 1: choosing the greenest fuel. When it comes to carbon emissions, gas-powered grills win in a landslide. 74 million households in the U.S. own at least one outdoor grill or smoker, but traditional charcoal grills produce smoke and soot particles that can pollute the air. If you love that charcoal smoky flavor, but want to cut down on the pollution it creates, avoid charcoal with conventional additives such as sodium nitrate or charcoal with self-lighting petroleum products. Instead, buy natural wood briquettes that are certified and sustainably harvested, made without fillers and fossil fuels. Grilling with the hood of the barbecue down not only helps maintain energy efficiency, but also ensures the heat will be distributed more evenly throughout the grill.
Step 2: The food. While you prep the grill, try rubbing it with an onion instead of dousing it with a chemical spray. Serving dessert? You can reheat baked goods like pies on the barbecue rack after the barbecue is turned off. Close the lid and by the time you are ready for dessert, it will be warm.
Step 3: Ditch the disposables. Use reusable plates, cups, silverware, and napkins. Or use biodegradable materials and toss them into your compost bin at the end of the night. (Remember, biodegradable materials only do their job in a compost bin, not at the landfill.)