by Anne

Sustainable grilling:8 tips for a climate-friendly BBQ

“Actually, I'm in favor of climate protection, but I can't do it wi...
Nachhaltig Grillen

“Actually, I'm in favor of climate protection, but I can't do it without how would you continue the sentence Flying Car Barbecue The joke is: Sustainability and barbecuing are not mutually exclusive. What we should do is honestly examine our habits and find sustainable solutions.nden. 

We have collected two handfuls of tips with which you can barbecue in a climate and environmentally friendly way:

Tip 1: choose a safe place to grill

Do you like to grill at home or outside? In both cases, it has to be safe. 

This not only affects your own health, but also that of your neighbors: inside and the animals in nature.

The following applies to the charcoal grill:

You can warn your neighborhood (or invite them!) That they may smell something like smoke. It gets more difficult with the animals: when they smell your barbecue, the alarm bells ring for many of them. Smoke means danger and therefore pure stress.s. 

So if you grill outside, only do it in the designated areas.

It goes without saying: Grill in such a way that you do not set anything on fire. Keep plenty of distance from flammable materials and always let the grill cool down properly.

Tip 2: Use a sustainable grill device

The type of grill you use already influences the sustainability of your grill party.

Gas grills, solar grills or electric grills are more environmentally friendly than charcoal grills. They simply cause less CO2 during operation, at least if you operate the electric grill with green electricity. 

You should really avoid disposable barbecues. They're handy for outdoor grilling, but you're just creating rubbish with them. A reusable grill is simply more worthwhile.

Tip 3: Use environmentally friendly fuels

If you operate your grill with green electricity, solar energy or gas, the CO2 emissions are kept within tolerable ranges. A gas grill still produces CO2, of course, but only about a third as much as a charcoal grill.

What shocked us about the barbecue charcoal and was not even aware of it for a long time: Conventional, commercially available charcoal often contains wood from rainforests. Examiners couldactually find tropical wood in 5 out of 20 charcoals and exposed a provider to have made false statements.

If it has to be charcoal, then you should pay attention to the certification: The FSC and Naturland seals would be our first choice, because NABU and BUND also recommend them. The PEFC seal only recommends the Ministry of Agriculture.

There is alsoAlternatives to charcoal for the grill, which have very short transport routes and go through as regional. In terms of performance, you can keep up with the usual charcoal. There is:

It's worth trying!

By the way, there are also grill briquettes made from coconut shells, but the transport routes are long and reduce the carbon footprint.

Tip 4: Use non-toxic grill lighters

How do you make your coal glow? It's better not to use gasoline or chemical lighters: one is quite explosive and smelly, the other is just as harmful to health. 

There are ecological alternatives made of wax or wood, and the latter also have FSC-certified products. The suppliers of ecological grilled food also often offer the right, environmentally friendly grill lighter - we have discovered, for example, lighter flasks made from corn.. 

Tip 5: Serve delicious, sustainable grilled food

For many, meat is irreplaceable on the grill and grilling without meat is therefore a sensitive issue. The thought of it triggers high blood pressure in some.

But let's calm down first.

First, yes, vegetarian and vegan grilling is better 

The meat makes up the mammoth share of CO2 emissions when grilling. Whole 95 percent!

We are lucky that we are living in the 21st century: We know that vegetables and meat substitutes go well on the grill. There are also salads, sauces, delicious breads and herb butter 

But there are also ecological differences when it comes to vegetarian food. Better are the products that

  • Have season
  • did not have to travel long distances and
  • were produced organically (e.g. without pesticides)

Strictly speaking, a balanced diet does not need meat. But if you want it:

Second, you don't have to grill a whole beefn

If you consume meat sparingly, you automatically reduce the ecological footprint of your barbecue.

Nobody forces youno Eat more meat. But nobody forces you to be a meatorgy to celebrate.

Incidentally, this applies to animal products as a whole, because cheese on the grill is not particularly sustainable either.

Third, it depends on the posture 

You know the irony: the grill costs a fortune, but the meat is as cheap as possible.

How about if you spend a little more on your grilled food, but also get more quality 

Organic meat in particular is clearly superior in taste to the discounter product and it is more conscientious in animal husbandry and environmental protection. 

What you can do: Buy regional and organic goods. With seals from Bioland, Naturland or Demeter you are on the safe side. If you are grilling fish, MSC, ASC and FOTS would be recommended seals.

Tip 6: reduce packaging waste to 0

One of the big problems with grilling is the amount of garbage. You can dramatically reduce the packaging for meat if you buy grilled meat directly from the butcher (it's better anyway) instead of packaged goods. You don't have to buy vegetables in plastic packaging either. 

But what about aluminum foil for the food while grilling 

Aluminum foil is not a particularly sustainable metal: The extraction of the raw material is very energy-intensive and is often at the expense of the rainforest. In addition, toxic red mud is produced during production.

In short: we need a substitute for baked potatoes, the stuffed mushrooms or the aluminum plate for fish.

One option is to place the food to be grilled directly on the cleaned grate. This may work for most vegetables, but it becomes more difficult with cheeses or fish. Here you can use helpers such as grill baskets, grill grids or grill boards.

A cast or wrought iron pan will do the same, by the way.

What we haven't tried out yet, but what we find very exciting, are vegetable leaves to wrap fish and cheese. These are usually cabbage leaves, grape leaves or corn leaves. Banana leaves are also suitable, but this is where the long transport route comes into play and also: who has seen banana leaves in the supermarket?? 

By the way: You can brush the leaves with a little oil to make them more heat-resistant. You wrap your grilled food in it, fix the whole thing with a roulade skewer or a thread and off you go.

Tip 7: reach for the reusable bottle, not the can

A cold beer shouldn't be missing when grilling, either. There is not much you have to pay attention to here, except for the obvious: 

Use reusable bottles instead of cans.

Tastes better anyway.

Tip 8: set the table environmentally friendly

Disposable dishes, cutlery and paper napkins have long been popular when grilling outdoors. It is clear that this is not ecological. As of July 2021, the production of single-use plastic will no longer be allowed in the EU, whether it will continue to be available is unclear. 

The joke is: You don't have to rely on plastic dishes or cutlery: just take the plates and (slightly thicker) glasses that you already have at home. Wrap all of this in textile towels so that they are soft and don't break. You can also use the cloths as a napkin and wash it later.

That may be a little more complex than with plastic dishes, but: You don't produce a bit of garbage this way.

Sounds good, doesn't it 

In a life that is as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible, the barbecue evening has a permanent place, it only depends on the implementation. In principle, you only have to pay attention to the following points:

  • Recyclability
  • renewable energy
  • Regionality and seasonality
  • a conscious handling of animal products

Be good to the environment, then you are also good to yourself #TreatYourself


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