The Family Home Blog

How to Have an Eco-Friendly Barbeque Season

May 16, 2016
Diane Hoffmaster

homemade iced tea 

When thinking about summer, one of the most enjoyable pastimes is spending time outdoors with friends and family cooking around the barbeque. What’s better than warm weather, great company and plenty of delicious food during those long summer days. The choices we make when it comes to planning our summer grilling, however, can have a huge impact on our carbon footprint. As you prepare for summer entertaining, here are a few things to consider that will help you live a tad bit greener.

Add more vegetables to your grill: There are no rules stating that only meat can go on your grill. Eat a bit lighter and healthier by grilling some simple vegetable kabobs, stuffed mushrooms or veggie burgers instead of steaks and hotdogs. The less meat you eat, the smaller your carbon footprint.

Clean out your grill regularly: Built up grease and food particles in your grill will produce unnecessary smoke. Don't forget to clean out the drip trays and anywhere grime will collect.

Skip the paper plates and plastic cutlery: Rather than buying disposable flatware, invest in a sturdy set of reusable outdoor dishes. You can also buy forks, knives and spoons made from bamboo or several other eco-friendly options.  

Go potluck: Ask friends and neighbors to bring a dish to share in a reusable Ziploc® Brand Container. Then, when the feast is over, you can send everyone home with a few leftovers in the dishes they originally brought. That way, you aren't left with a ton of food you can't possibly eat. Reducing food waste is a great way to lessen your impact on the planet.

Be thoughtful about beverages: You can make a large container of iced tea (my favorite is pomegranate ice tea-yum!) or lemonade and let guests serve themselves with reusable glasses. This cuts down on the number of disposable cans and bottles that are generated. If you must serve beverages in single serve containers, make sure to put out a recycling bin so guests can recycle easily.

Make homemade condiments: Some condiments are tough to make from scratch, but try my homemade ranch dressing, or any other favorite sauce, marinade or dip that you think your guests will enjoy. Whipping up your own will reduce the numbers of non-reusable bottles and containers or the need for individual condiment packets.

How will YOU be greening up your grilling this summer?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

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