Outdoor play, delicious food and cold drinks on a hot summer day – there’s nothing like a cookout to bring together friends and family! Unfortunately, widespread grilling can take a toll on our environment. Excess smoke emission, meat and single-use waste can leave a substantial carbon footprint. Before you fire up the grill, consider these three, eco-friendly alternatives to enjoy your outdoor fare:
Choose a gas grill (or control your charcoal use).
Believe it or not, charcoal grills emit about three times as much greenhouse gas as their gas counterparts. Don’t own a gas grill? Minimize your carbon footprint by using natural charcoals or lump charcoal, and be sure to shut down your grill as soon as you are done to prevent excess smoke from entering the air. Bonus points – reuse leftover charcoal for your next grill session.
Go for veggies and/or locally-sourced seafood.
Ditch the beef! Reducing meat (especially red meat) from your diet is an effective way to mitigate climate change, as diets that include agriculture-based meat products produce a higher amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, opt for a more sustainable meal of veggies and locally-sourced fish and shrimp. Better yet – shop at your local farmers market to reduce the distance your food will travel to get to your plate. Need inspiration? Check out these Good Catch approved recipes. Got a passion for burgers? We understand. Bonus points – mix mushrooms in with your patty meat! It’s a delicious and more sustainable way to satisfy your taste buds.
Reduce your waste.
Steer clear from plastic or Styrofoam cups, plates and cutlery – serve your guests on reusable dishware or paper products. Planning to drink a few cold ones? Be sure to recycle your aluminum cans and glass bottles. If you’re hosting a cookout outside your own backyard, be sure to “pack in, pack out” by properly disposing of all trash you bring along with you. Bonus points for Charleston County residents – check out our quick guide to recycling done right for more do’s and don’ts.
Your meal will be extra tasty knowing that you’ve done your part to protect the environment – bon appétit!