Summer is synonymous with BBQs. Gathering with friends and family over a grill can be one of the joys of the warmer months. However, as we become more aware of our environmental impact, it’s worth considering how to make these get-togethers more sustainable. Here are several easy tips to green your summer BBQs.

Choose Sustainable Grill Options

Traditional grilling methods often involve materials that can be harmful to the environment, such as standard charcoal, which emits significant pollutants. Opting for a more sustainable grill can significantly reduce your BBQ’s environmental impact.

Choose a Casus Grill for your next BBQ. The bamboo charcoal briquettes used in Casus Grills ensure a more sustainable cooking process. They burn cleaner and more efficiently than traditional charcoal, significantly reducing the amount of carbon monoxide and other pollutants released into the atmosphere. Additionally, the inclusion of lava rock helps to retain heat more effectively, reducing the amount of fuel needed and further minimizing environmental impact. It’s not only disposable and biodegradable, but its innovative design also ensures that it leaves a minimal ecological footprint. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

Use Eco-Friendly Grilling Accessories

The accessories and utensils you use can also impact your BBQ’s sustainability. Disposable plastic utensils and plates are harmful to the environment.

Opt for reusable grilling accessories. Stainless steel skewers, grilling baskets, and durable utensils can replace disposable ones. For serving, use bamboo plates or other compostable options if reusable dishes are not feasible.

Serve Locally-Sourced Food

The carbon footprint of your BBQ can be significantly reduced by choosing locally-sourced food. Transporting food over long distances contributes to carbon emissions.

Visit your local farmers’ markets for fresh meats, vegetables, and fruits. Not only does this support local farmers, but the food is also likely to be fresher and tastier. Consider plant-based options as well, which generally have a lower environmental impact than meat.

Offer Plant-Based Menu Options

Livestock farming is one of the largest contributors to environmental issues like deforestation and methane emissions. Incorporating plant-based options into your BBQ menu can reduce your ecological footprint.

Try grilling veggie burgers, tofu steaks, or vegetable skewers. There are many delicious recipes available that can appeal to meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

Minimize Food Waste

Reducing food waste is crucial in minimizing the environmental impact of any event, including BBQs. A lot of resources go into producing food, and when it’s wasted, those resources are also wasted, not to mention the methane produced when organic waste decomposes in landfills.

To minimize food waste at your BBQ, plan your menu carefully by estimating how much food you’ll need based on the number of guests to prevent over-preparation. Serve smaller portions to allow guests to come back for seconds if they’re still hungry, which reduces the amount of leftover food on plates. Encourage guests to take home leftovers and have reusable containers ready or ask guests to bring their own. Set up a compost bin for any inedible organic waste like fruit peels or corn husks, which not only reduces your trash but also contributes to creating nutrient-rich soil.

Use Natural Insect Repellents

Keeping bugs at bay is a common challenge at outdoor BBQs. However, many commercial repellents contain harmful chemicals.

Opt for natural alternatives like citronella candles or essential oils such as lavender or eucalyptus. These are effective at keeping pests away and are better for the environment and your health.

Recycle and Segregate Waste

Effective waste management is essential for a sustainable BBQ. Proper segregation ensures that recyclable and compostable materials are processed appropriately, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

To effectively recycle and segregate waste, have separate bins for recyclables, compostables, and trash. Label each bin clearly to help guests understand where to dispose of their waste. At the start of the BBQ, take a moment to explain the waste system you’ve set up and give a quick tour of the bins to greatly increase compliance. Be prepared for cleanup by having gloves and extra bags ready for sorting any misplaced items during cleanup, ensuring that recyclable and compostable materials are correctly processed.

Save Energy

BBQs can consume a lot of energy, especially if they extend into the evening. Saving energy not only reduces your carbon footprint but can also cut down on electricity costs.

When it comes to saving energy at your BBQ, use energy-efficient lighting such as LED lights or solar-powered lamps if your BBQ stretches into the night. These options provide adequate lighting and are more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs. Keep your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible to maintain the internal temperature without additional energy consumption. Use the grill lid to cook food faster and reduce energy use and pre-cook items in the kitchen using energy-efficient appliances to shorten grill time.

Eco-Friendly Decorations

Decorations set the mood for any party but often result in a lot of waste. Opting for eco-friendly decorations can enhance your BBQ while being kind to the planet.

Decorate with items that don’t contribute to waste, like natural flowers, stones, and sand, and use fabric tablecloths and napkins that can be washed and reused. Create your own decorations using recycled or upcycled materials, such as painting tin cans to turn them into lanterns or filling old jars with LED lights. Steer clear of plastic banners and disposable tablecloths, opting for decorations that can be stored and reused for future events. If you need larger items like furniture or lighting setups, consider renting instead of buying, which reduces waste and can be more cost-effective.

Educate Your Guests

Part of being sustainable is spreading awareness.

Use your BBQ as an opportunity to share these tips with your guests. Informing them about why you chose a biodegradable grill or sourced local produce can inspire them to make similar choices.

By implementing these tips, you can enjoy your summer BBQs while also respecting and preserving the environment. It’s about making small changes that add up to a big difference.