The Simple Things
We answer the green questions you were too afraid, or too confused, to ask
IS THERE AN ECO- FRIENDLY WAY TO BARBECUE?
Both gas and charcoal-lit barbecues release carbon dioxide but charcoal is the biggest pollution culprit – releasing twice the amount of toxic particles. What’s more, charcoal bricks are often made from unsustainably logged tropical wood, coated in chemicals to make them easier to ignite. The most harmful of all are disposable versions (the UK uses more than 1,000,000 of them a year): energy-inefficient, covered in single-use plastic and nonrecyclable. While gas has less of an impact on air quality than charcoal, it’s still a non-renewable fossil fuel. Electric barbecue grills can be a better option, if your electricity comes from a renewable source.
Keep the following in mind:
• For both gas and charcoal, use a lid to help control temperature (thereby using less fuel).
• If you buy charcoal, try to source bricks from sustainably managed native woodland. They're a bit pricier, but usually burn for longer than mass-produced varieties.
• Choose natural firelighters made from the likes of wood shavings.
• Burn logs made from materials such as coffee-bean waste or recycled sawdust in fire pits. They produce less smoke than wood.
Taken from Is It Really Green? Everyday Eco-dilemmas Answered by Georgina Wilson-Powell (DK)