Don’t scorch your green track record this Memorial Day; picnic eco-style.

May 25, 2017

Eco-friendly picnic, eco friendly barbecue, sustainable grilling, eco grill, charcoal barbecue, lump

*Sniff*. I smell a holiday weekend on the horizon. Sizzling meats, coconutty sunscreen, and maybe even a little bit of pool chlorine (don’t kind of like it, too).

Memorial Day is inherently sacred, in that it honors the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. It also delivers to us the summer kickoff we’ve been waiting for since January.

And that means it’s time for some barbecues, baby!

In keeping with our tradition of helping you coast through the most special times of year while keeping your green reputation intact, we’ve gathered a couple tips for cooking out eco-style.

Mosquitos and harmful UV-rays need not attend.

Buy natural bug repellent and sunscreen, or better yet, make your own! Especially if you have kids; this could be a fun pre-picnic activity. Wellness Mama has great recipes for both bug spray and sunscreen.

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The Grill Dilemma.

While we know charcoal and lighter fluids are bad news for the ozone, chances are if you’re picnicking at the park, grilling with charcoal is just more practical than gas. But as you may have guessed, there are more environmentally-friendly ways to go about it.

  1. Choose charcoal lumps over briquettes, which generally have more additives.
  2. Look for organic brands.
  3. Use a metal charcoal chimney to light the coals. Not only does it eliminate the need for petroleum-based starter fluid, but it helps burn off any other chemicals found in the coal before you cook your food over it.

Where’s the beef? Not on your menu, perhaps.

Are you the kind who likes just a few veggies with their meat? Or a little protein to garnish a massive salad?

While few are probably serving chicken caesar salad as the main course for their picnic, you can still even out the meat/veggie ratio (and still satisfy the craving for a burger) with hearty vegetables. Try grilling marinated portobello mushrooms, eggplant, and of course, veggie burgers.

And if the carnivores in your life are giving you hangry looks of disapproval, opt for chicken and fish, which generally have a smaller ecological footprint than beef.

Delish has a mouth-watering gallery of grilled veggie recipes that will give meat a run for its money any day.

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Support craft breweries with an eye for eco-brewing.

If you like to serve your grilled creations with a delicious frothy cold one (we sure do), then check out this list of craft breweries that earn high marks on the green charts. Whether it’s growing their own hops, cutting water usage, powering their facilities with wind, or creating special seasonal beers using local seasonal produce, these brewers aim to please the planet as much as your palette.

Send bubble tributes, not balloons.

People often like to release balloons into the sky to pay tribute to our fallen loved ones. As well-intended as that gesture is, it’s unfortunately a very dangerous one for wildlife. Many animals mistake balloons for food, or become fatally entangled in the strings. Instead of balloons, how about making this environmentally-friendly bubble solution from Green and Clean Mom instead!

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Do you have any eco-picnic tips to share? Let us know!

Thanks To:

Kashi, Beer Advocate, Delish, Wellness Mama, The Culture-Ist, Green and Clean Mom

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