Get Your Grill on! Throw a Planet-Friendly BBQ

By Rachel Bertsche for Green Goes Simple

Choose Gas over Charcoal

Natural gas and propane grills are more energy-efficient and leave less waste behind than does a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills actually release more carbon monoxide and other harsh chemicals into the air than any other fuel source.

Use Reusables

Your best environmental bet is to use the real thing when it comes to dinnerware — disposable plates, napkins and silverware account for a huge amount of unnecessary waste. If you’d rather not run the dishwasher, opt for recyclable or compostable dishes, such as bamboo plates or corn-based utensils.

Say No to Lighter Fluid

The VOCs (volatile organic compounds) released by lighter fluid aren’t just bad for the environment, they’re no good for your guests either. If you choose to go with charcoal, use electric starters or charcoal chimneys instead of lighter fluid.

Eat Green — Literally

Even kids who can’t stand veggies may love them off the grill. And while the green stuff is more earth-friendly than most red meat, you can choose hormone-free and lean meats to keep it eco. Also be sure to trim the fat before grilling: It will cut down on the harmful carcinogens released into the air when fat burns.

Clean Your Cleanup

Use eco-friendly grill cleaners and remember that not all leftovers are trash. If you have a compost pile in your garden, fill it with corn husks, veggie peels and other biodegradable scraps.


  1. 1
    courtney b says:

    i love veggies on skewers! yum! looks so good!

  2. 2

    These are wonderful tips and I’m so happy to see we do most of these anyway! My inlaws have an amazing compost pile starting and I sure wish we could start one too. It’s a little hard when you live in the desert and have all rocks, gravel, stone, & fake grass as landscape.

  3. 3
    Laura Jacobson says:

    Great tips for spring/summer grilling! I am trying very hard to get more planet friendly and are looking for a new grill this year. I think I will go with the gas grill…even though the gas does scare me a bit. But….sounds much healthier and more eco friendly!

  4. 4
    Janet W. says:

    We will be grilling a lot this summer! It’s a great way to spend quality time with family!

  5. 5

    I agree. I too find charcoal grills bad for the environment. Personally I would go for electric grill but natural gas and propane grills are also a good option.


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