Green-up Your Memorial Day BBQ

Sean Darras - Contributing Writer
Posted on Wednesday 13th May 2009

As the weather is just beginning to warm up across the country Memorial Day only a few weeks away, barbecues across the United States are igniting. While you might think that the environmental effects of barbecuing for the entire family doesn’t add up to much, consider the fact that millions are tossing burgers, chicken and vegetables on the grill. Seventy-five percent of U.S households own at least one BBQ grill.

While Memorial Day fails in comparison to the Fourth of July, in which an estimated sixty million BBQs are held each year (resulting in the consumption of enough energy in the form of charcoal, lighter fluid, propane and electricity to power 20,000 households for a year), there is no better time to start thinking about making eco-friendly changes to your backyard grill.

So the question is how you can green your barbecuing techniques. Below you will find a few helpful suggestions.

Green Grilling Options!

Traditional charcoal briquettes give off more carbon monoxide, particulate matter and soot than other grilling methods. In combination with charcoal, lighter fluids contribute more to ground-level ozone. If you love the smoky flavor created from grilling with charcoal, make a small compromise and use lump coal instead of briquettes. Are you looking to replace your old grill or purchase your first? If so, consider a cleaner burning propane or electric grill or to be truly green, you can look at solar ovens or stoves to avoid most emissions altogether.

Lean and Green Meat!?!

Choose lean meat or trim fat from meat before grilling to avoid harmful carcinogens that result from fat dripping onto coals and re-depositing itself in the meat from smoke and flame ups. Consider Uruguay Steaks, which are a new brand of socially responsible beef from South America - 100% grass-fed and organic. Uruguay Steaks believes all red meat is not created equal, that's why there is absolutely no room for antibiotics, hormones, pesticides in their cows. Perfect for grilling on any day!

Other Topics to Consider

Remember to use reusable dishware and silverware (or for a disposable option, you can even use dishware and silverware made from palm leaves which is naturally biodegradable). It is also important to count how many people you will be cooking for so you can avoid food and packaging waste. Also help support your local farmers by buying your fruit and vegetables from the local produce stand.

So before you breakout the BBQ this year, incorporate these simple tips to help reduce some of the harmful emissions you can be grilling into the air around you.

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