Barbecue is like anything else—you can make it as good or as bad as you want to. It is easy to make bbqing a dirty, energy-intensive process that is only increased by non-organic, imported meat and beer. It is also easy to make it a less energy-intensive process that is about as eco-friendly as a meal can get. Here are some ways to do that.
Step one: gas is better than charcoal because there is less waste. Or if your house is powered with renewable energy (because so many of ours are…) use an electric grill! Step two: if you go charcoal, make your charcoal sustainable or of the all-natural lump variety. Step three: petroleum-based lighter fluid has VOCs that are bad for the environment when released into the atmosphere. Don’t use this to start up the grill. Step four: grilling with the hood down saves energy by keeping heat contained. Step five: clean the grill with environmentally-friendly cleaners. Soy-based grill cleaning products are out there. Step six: make sure the meats and veggies you’re grilling are organic, free range and preferably local. Local organic beer is better too.
Don’t forget to recycle!
There are various options for eco-friendly grilling options available on the market as well. The Helios solar grill relies upon solar power and is about the same size as a regular charcoal grill. The Hydro-que is a hydrogen powered grill that does not use propane or charcoal, but water. And like most green options, they are a higher up front cost, but can provide energy cost savings in the long run.
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