Buy your charcoal from sustainably managed forests
Not all charcoal is created equal. Check for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo on the bag you buy to make sure it isn't from a rain forest or other unsustainable source. And if you can use charcoal from the US instead of Asia or abroad, that's even better!
Cost: Surprisingly, FSC certified and US sourced charcoal isn't too much more expensive than the alternative.
Image credit: modified photo from Giolou’s Flickr photostream
Substitute Tofu Pups and Garden Burgers for hot dogs and hamburgers
Raising livestock uses an incredible amount of energy and releases tons of methane into the air. This year, try serving soy dogs and burgers instead of meat – they’re better for the environment and for your health. And a lot of times, people can’t even tell the difference!
Cost: $3-4 a box on average
Turn off the AC
If your BBQ is going on outdoors, why not turn off (or at least turn down) your air conditioner inside? You’ll save energy and $$ and it’ll give people a reason to stay outside where the action is.
Cost: negative (you’ll actually save money)