Written by our friends at Green Mountain Energy

Make summer barbecues more sustainable with eco-friendly ideas for a planet-friendly cookout. So before firing up the barbie, check out our grilling tips ranging from menu items to table decor.

Grill time

When it comes to firing up the grill, here’s how to keep it green:

  • 1. Natural gas burns cleaner than charcoal.
  • 2. If you have to use charcoal, there are organic and natural alternatives (often made from hardwoods) that burn easily with no chemical residue.
  • 3. Make sure you’re heating your grill only for as long as you need.
  • 4. And clean out your grill regularly to make sure you’re using it effectively!

On the menu

From snacks to desserts, you can easily reduce the carbon footprint of your meal. Give the following a try:

  • 1. Beef production creates 11x more greenhouse gases than plant-based foods — and with all the meatless alternatives out there, it’s time for a swap!
  • 2. If it’s not summer without a burger for you, another option would be to use turkey or chicken. They both have a lower carbon impact than their meatier counterpart.
  • 3. Shop for local and in-season fruits as a fresh and healthy appetizer alternative.

Décor and tableware

When it comes to decorating and table setting, making it simple also helps make it sustainable.

  • 1. Reuse decorations or invest in some that can be used more flexibly. For example, a chalkboard can be decorated with a festive message to help set the theme any time of year.
  • 3. Get creative with art supplies and recycled goods. Think about streamers made from shredded paper or flags painted on cardboard to really keep your carbon footprint low.
  • 3. Use your everyday flatware instead of plastic utensils. This one is fairly simple — it eliminates plastic waste and makes good use of what you already have.
  • 4. And for a pop of color, incorporate greenery from your backyard into your table arrangements.

Green grilling
We hope you have plenty of fun, green Summer cookouts and look forward to sharing more tips about helping protect our planet. To stay in the know, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Living greener doesn’t have to come with higher food costs. We’ve partnered with Market 32 to make going green even more rewarding, featuring 100% renewable energy plans that let you save at the checkout line. Learn more here.