With over 60 million barbecues lighting up this Fourth of July, choosing the right grill and grilling accessories can do a lot to help the earth breathe easier. There are a variety of sustainably-produced charcoal briquettes out there - including Wicked Good Charcoal, which is made from industrial scrap wood, or Kingsford Charwood, which is produced using clean-energy turbine heat. Propane is also another good option as it produces close to half the emissions of generic charcoals. If you're looking to save space in your backyard, try out Black+Blums's Hot-Pot BBQ, which is cleverly disguised as a planter!
TIP 1: Lose the Plastics
If there’s anything worse than plastic plates, it just might be their styrofoam counterparts. One of the easiest things you can do to go green is to reach for biodegradable plates, cups and cutlery when you’re shopping for your soirée this weekend. They ring in at just about the same price – give or take a few cents – and the overall impact is quite significant. We here at Inhabitat are really big fans of Bambu’s awesome line of ware, or to add a bit more funk to your Fourth, check out this compostable Boombox picnic set from Boxsal.
TIP 2: Buy Local and Organic Food
Who wants to worry about pesticides on this day of patriotism? We recommend steering clear of foods produced on factory farms — instead look for locally-grown and/or organic produce and meats for you grill. Buying locally is a great way to better educate yourself on what you’re putting into your mouth and it supports your local economy. And if you’re looking to reduce your environmental impact even further by going all-veggie, there are some delish animal-free selections out there, including the classic veggie burger and tofu-pups. These tasty vegetarian dishes avoid the pitfalls of industrial meat production, which contributes to much of the world’s water use, emissions, land use and oil consumption.