We all love a good barbecue since it brings together family and friends and we can just have a good time. However, there are plenty of ways how our barbecue can be harmful for our planet. In this article, many simple ways how you can make your barbecue more eco-friendly are shown.
Most people still use conventional sources of energy like gas or coal for their BBQ. However, both of them are non-renewable fossil fuels, which may be depleted in the near future.
Moreover, the use of these fuels also implies the emission of harmful gases into our atmosphere, including carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming.
Thus, it is crucial to look out for alternatives in order to make your barbecue eco-friendlier. Instead of using conventional grills, you could switch to electric grills instead.
Electric grills do not directly use fossil fuels, however, part of our electricity that is currently produced is still produced with the help of fossil fuels.
Therefore, electric grills cannot be regarded as fully green. However, they can still be considered to be more environmentally-friendly compared to conventional grills.
Through the energy transition process, we could hopefully get to a point where electricity can be entirely generated through the use of green energies. At least at this point in time, electric grills will be much more eco-friendly compared to conventional grills run by gas or coal.
I know that this switch will be harmful to many people who love their gas or coal grill. However, also consider the environmental impact for the next generations. Isn’t it worth to forgo some traditions to make your behavior more sustainable and therefore to ensure a livable future for your children?!
Electric grills are not the only alternative for gas or coal grills. An exotic alternative would be to use a solar grill. Solar grills (or also called solar cookers) do not have the actual features of a conventional grill, they are more like a stove instead.
Thus, when using a solar cooker, you should not expect the same smoky flavor like you know it from conventional grills. Moreover, solar grills only work when the sun is shining.
However, solar cookers can be a great and also quite interesting alternative to a conventional barbecue and you can cook quite delicious food on it.
Especially for stews and other dishes that have to be cooked rather than grilled for a quite long time, solar cookers are an excellent alternative to conventional stoves.
Thus, solar grills or cookers can be regarded as a good complementary alternative to the use of traditional grills.
If you love your conventional barbecue experience too much and you still want to use coal to get the original experience and the smoky flavor, at least make sure to refrain from conventional coal and use eco-friendly coal instead.
There are quite good alternatives to conventional charcoal out there. Lump coal usually burns much cleaner than charcoal and also has less chemicals in it which also makes it healthier in most cases. There are even quite exotic sorts of coal made out of banana skin.
As you can see, there are some alternatives to the use of conventional charcoal. Thus, the next time you want to buy coal, make sure to use the most eco-friendly alternative. Just try out different ones, you will be surprised how good those alternatives can actually be!
Not only the energy source of grills is crucial, it is also important to use a grill as efficient as possible. This means that you should rely on grills that can store energy and do not lose too much energy to the environment.
The shape and the materials of a grill are crucial when it comes to energy-efficiency. Due to their shape, dome and kettle grills are considered to be the most energy-efficient grills out there.
Thus, when it comes to buying decisions regarding grills, make sure to buy an energy-efficient rather than an energy-intensive grill in order to improve your ecological footprint.
In order to light up the grill, people who use coal frequently also use chemical charcoal lighters. However, these lighters are often made out of chemicals that can be harmful to our environment.
Instead of using these chemical lighters, try to use natural lighting material like wood. It will work equally well and you can avoid most of the air pollution which results from the use of chemical grill lighters.
There are also plenty of grill accessories out there. For instance, you can use barbecue tongs, BBQ gloves and many other BBQ gadgets. However, keep in mind to buy those accessories from natural and sustainable materials in order to improve your ecological footprint.
For instance, when it comes to buying a new barbecue tong, watch out for a barbecue tong made out of bamboo. Bamboo has the advantage that it grows quite fast which makes it sustainable. Moreover, making things even better, it is often quite cheap.
Therefore, by using grill gadgets made out of natural materials like bamboo, not only can you make your barbecue greener, but you can even save money at the same time. How cool (or hot) is that?! 😉
Always keep in mind how precious our energy really is and that every unit of energy we consume contributes to air pollution and also to global warming. Thus, it is crucial that we save energy whenever possible, including when making a BBQ.
However, this does not mean that you should never make a barbecue anymore. It means that you should try to use only as much coal as you urgently need. Don’t waste excessive amounts of coal just for fun.
A reasonable grilling behavior can save plenty of energy in the long run and will also reduce your overall barbecue spending at the same time.
The production of excessive amounts of waste is a serious global environmental issue. Many people by much more food and other products that they actually do not need.
This implies the production of large amounts of unnecessary waste, which in turn will end up in landfills or will be burned, which leads to the emission or harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
Therefore, when you make a barbecue, make sure not to buy too much food in order to avoid unnecessary waste and also to save you money which I’m sure you are happy to invest in a more senseful way for other things.
Many people also do not realize how important it really is to separate their waste correctly in order to make it available for effective recycling. Thus, when you make a barbecue, make sure to separate the resulting waste properly.
You should also reuse as many things as possible. For instance, it is not necessary to dispose your barbecue tongs into the garbage after just a single use. Instead, clean it and reuse it multiple times. By doing so, you can reduce your waste production and also reduce the resource depletion problem.
Many of us love the taste of meat. However, the excessive consumption of meat has several downsides for our health and also for our environment.
Thus, it is reasonable to reduce our overall meat consumption. Although this may seem to be hard at first, it is actually quite easy.
I personally reduced my meat consumption from eating meat almost every day to only two times a week. And guess what, I feel better than ever!
Therefore, also when doing a barbecue, make sure to reduce the overall meat consumption by offering plenty of side dishes like potatoes, vegetables, corn and many more.
By doing so, you can improve your overall environmental footprint and can also improve your health level at the same time.
Organic meat may not be much better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional meat, however, animals are usually treated much better.
Thus, it should be worth a few dollars more in order to have a better feeling since you know that the animals have been treated in a fair manner during the course of their life.
Therefore, try to consume less meat that is a little bit more expensive instead of consuming large amounts of cheap meat. By doing so, you can improve your ecological footprint, improve your health and also improve the conditions of farm animals.
When preparing a barbecue, also make sure that you use seasonal food. Most of our food is often carried over quite long distances by ship, train or plane. This implies the emission of large amounts of harmful greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.
Instead of buying food from quite remote parts of our planet and therefore harming our environment, try to use local food instead. Depending on the season, the supply of local food varies.
However, especially in summer or autumn when it is main season for barbecues, there are plenty of local vegetables which you can use to make your barbecue eco-friendly and also tasty at the same time.
Many people still use disposable plates or cutlery when it comes to making a barbecue. However, this is quite harmful to our planet since it implies the production of excessive amounts of unnecessary waste.
Thus, instead of using disposable plastic cutlery and plates, rely on reusable silverware and plates in order to improve your ecological footprint. Overall, it will be even cheaper in the long run to use reusable cutlery and plates instead of disposable ones for single use.
You can also try to compose home-made drinks instead of offering conventional drinks like beer. The advantage of home-made drinks is that you do not have to use disposable cans or other synthetic materials for purchased beverages. Instead, you can use glass carafes, which can be reused and therefore, the waste resulting from beverages can be minimized.
Moreover, mixing your own drinks can also be quite a lot of fun and your guests will appreciate the effort you put in your barbecue to make it outstanding. Just give it a try, you will be surprised how positive your family and friends may react to it!
Eco-friendliness in the context of barbecue is still quite a small niche and not many people are actually aware on how to make a barbecue more eco-friendly. Therefore, you could take a stand and raise the awareness on this topic. Also make sure to point out why it is important to make your barbecue more environmentally-friendly. By doing so, you can multiply your positive ecological impact.
There are plenty of ways how you can make your BBQ more eco-friendly. Many of them are quite simple and do not take great efforts, while others may be a little bit more time-consuming.
However, never forget what we are talking about here. We are talking about saving our planet from man-made destruction and to ensure a livable future for the next generations. This should be worth some effort, shouldn’t it?!
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master's degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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