In recent years, more and more people are becoming aware of the Eco-Friendly Movement. When it comes to grilling, we can choose to grill a little greener to reduce and limit the permanent damage being done to Mother Earth. Between choosing products that reduce the use of natural resources, to being a little smarter when cleaning our grills, it’s really up to us to make a difference.
Though there doesn’t seem to be an obvious eco-friendly choice when it comes to what fuels your grill, there are still a few things you can do to lessen the environmental impact of your weekend barbecue.
Follow these simple tips from ChowHound.com on how to grill and be environmentally friendly.
Use Nontoxic Cleaners
It’s best to clean your grill with a heavy-duty grill brush and some elbow grease, but if you’re going to use a spray-on cleaner, go for one that’s nontoxic.
Buy Sustainable Charcoal
If you’re buying lump charcoal, look for brands like Wicked Good, Nature’s Own Chunk Charwood, and the Original Charcoal Company, which are made from sustainably harvested wood. Lazzari also produces a 100 percent mesquite lump charcoal made from prunings, dead and fallen wood, and selectively harvested wood.
If you opt for briquettes, avoid instant-light varieties—they’re soaked in petroleum products—and conventional briquettes that use fillers like coal dust and petroleum binders.
Grill Good Food
What’s on top of your grate is just as important as what’s underneath it. Try to use seasonal, local, and organic produce and meats.
Put Down the Lighter Fluid!
There’s no need to use toxic lighter fluid to ignite charcoal when you can use a chimney starter. They’re simple: Stuff some old newspaper in the bottom, fill the top with charcoal, and light the paper. At around $10 to $15, they’re also cheap. Plus, your food won’t have any off flavors from unburned lighter fluid residue. You can also make one out of an old coffee can by removing both ends, using a church key bottle opener to cut holes around the bottom rim, placing the chimney on top of your grill, and proceeding with the newspaper, charcoal, and ignition.
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