Green Tips: Summer Barbequing

Green Tips | August 2, 2019

Barbeques are a beloved summer staple. They provide the perfect excuse to get together with friends and family and celebrate all things summer, including enjoying seasonal foods and outdoor activities. With 75% of Americans owning an outdoor grill or smoker, it’s important that we practice sustainable barbequing to minimize our impact on the environment. We’ve compiled our top tips for greening your summer barbeque.

Upgrade your barbeque: The Hearth, Barbeque and Patio Association (HBPA) expects 37% of Americans to buy a new grill this summer. If you’re in the market for a new grill, consider purchasing a gas or electric model, instead of the traditional charcoal-based grills. Propane-powered grills produce three times less the amount of greenhouse gases than charcoal-based grills, are more efficient, and easier to operate. If you’re looking to be even more eco-friendly, check out solar-powered grills, which rely completely on renewable energy to power your barbeque.

Get rid of charcoal: If you’re not looking to upgrade or want to stick to charcoal, there are still ways to improve your practices. Traditional charcoal bricks contain harmful additives that release soot and even mercury into the air. In addition, most commercial charcoal brands rely on unsustainable forestry, which contributes to deforestation. This summer, try picking up some lump coal, which is additive- and chemical-free, or “green charcoal,” which is harvested through sustainable forestry. Look for the Rainforest Alliance certification to be sure your charcoal is sustainably sourced.

Opt for reusables: Plastic waste is one of the most important environmental issues of our time – with 8 million tons entering our oceans annually. Barbeques are a great occasion to be purposeful and sparing with your plastic use. By avoiding paper, Styrofoam or plastic plates, cutlery and cups, you can do your part to cut down on single-use waste. Invest now in some barbeque friendly reusable containers, and save money down the road for future barbeques.

Cut down on meat: While hot dogs and hamburgers are traditional barbeque choices, consider incorporating more vegetable options into this summer’s cookout. According to a UN report, livestock accounts for almost 20% of greenhouse gases and occupies over 30% of the planet’s green space. Complete elimination of meat products from your barbeque may not be possible, but moderation is; consider alternatives like veggie burgers or tofu hot dogs. Grill veggies, corn, or potatoes to supplement cutting back on the meat. Check out some ideas and methods here and here.

< Back to Citizen’s Toolkit

Get Involved