Ten ideas to have a green barbecue this autumn
This month is probably the last time to enjoy an outdoor barbecue before the nights draw in and temperatures drop.
But is it possible to grill and be green after research by UK scientists showed that a typical barbecue for four people is responsible for more greenhouse gases than an 80-mile car journey?
So how can everyone enjoy planet friendly food outside on an autumnal evening.
Green energy expert Ron Fox gives ten suggestions:
- Avoid food in black trays as these are not easily recyclable. Go instead for items packed in cardboard that can be recycled.
- Don’t buy multibuys from stores as they usually have a lot of wrapping and single-use plastic. They are often from a complex supply chain and are intensively processed, packaged and stored and add to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Light up your garden with environmentally friendly LED lights that are charged by solar power.
- Don’t use a fire pit. Burning wood, particularly untreated or green wood, produces a cocktail of toxic air pollutants, such as benzene and formaldehyde. Go instead for Fairtrade charcoal.
- Use a gas grill which has a carbon footprint that is three times lower than a charcoal barbecue. Also, a gas barbecue gives more control so the heat can be turned up and down.
- Never use a disposable barbecue which uses cheap materials including aluminium and is high on carbon emissions. They are difficult to dispose of and are often dumped in bins. Instead use an eco one which is 100 per cent biodegradable, needs one match to light it and gives two and a half hours of cooking time.
- Use kitchen crockery not plastic plates. However, a ceramic plate needs to be used more than 50 times to pay back the energy used in its creation. To be very green use bamboo bowls and cutlery.
- Be careful with grease. If you are cooking a lot of meat use a reusable drip pan because if grease comes into contact with a flame it produces matter containing harmful toxins such as sulfates, nitrates and carbon oxides.
- Watch the leftovers. It is much better to send the leftover home with the guests in reusable containers instead of throwing food waste away into landfill. There a large amount of methane is produced as it rots away and degrades. These gases are 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere and increasing global temperatures.
- Cleaning up: Finally, clean the grill while it is still warm with soda crystals and a wire brush instead of waiting until it is cold when harsh, polluting chemicals will be needed.
“We want everyone to enjoy themselves by having a barbecue outside with family and friend,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
“But we want them to do it in an environmentally-friendly way that grills just the food and not the skies.”
For more information about green energy call Ron on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk