Barbecue season is upon us. Here is a quick guide for having a more sustainable BBQ.
Choose your grill and fuel wisely.
Between a charcoal grill and gas grill, gas grills are usually regarded as cleaner. While gas is not a particularly sustainable fuel source, it burn much cleaner resulting in much lower emissions.
But not everyone is looking for a new grill or willing to give up their beloved charcoal. In that case buy FSC certified charcoal which will guarantee the wood was not sourced from a protected area, and its production was done within guidelines set up to protect group land use rights and environmental quality.
Skip the disposables
Or at least use Compostable Disposables
And then actually compost them. Plastic and styrofoam never really biodegrade so using a party full of them leaves a party full of plastic to be buried somewhere. There are plenty of compostable plate options out there available at comparable prices. Of course for the full environmental benefit they have to be composted as waste disposed of in plastic bags often does not break down because it lack air to do so, or decompose with little air in a process that produces more methane than normal decomposition. Paper plates can’t be recycled because they have been contaminated with food, soaking up the grease and oils into the paper fibers. Some plastic dishware can be recycled but be sure to check! and remember plastic is a petroleum byproduct and takes energy to clean and reuse.
Use Real Silverware
Everyone forgets about the silverware but plastic forks can’t be recycled! Some specially made plastic silverware is biodegradable, but keep a sharp eye as some plastic goods are advertised as degradable which is not biodegradable. Degradable products are just better than most plastics as breaking down into tiny pieces unlike biodegrading where something breaks down into carbon and other elements.
Bring Your Own Cup
Or bottle or anything really. Ask your guests to bring their own bottles or cups to use if you are worried about not having enough reusable ones. For cups especially it is much easier to keep track of if everyone brings their own.
Buy Your Food Local
Take advantage of your nearby farmer’s market and buy local meat and produce.
Offer Meat alternatives
While some of us can not conceive having no meat at a BBQ, and others of us would not dare to skip meat with hoards of hungry family coming, you can sneak in some alternative meat options for those who are interested. For those particularly daring check out this fake burger.