How Green is Your Barbecuing?

Fourth of July is one of the biggest barbecuing days of the year.  I honestly don’t think I know of anyone who doesn’t have plans because – hey – this is America & it’s what we do on 4th of July – right? How green is your barbecuing? Please read below about some simple tips to make sure your plans for this 4th are red, white, blue AND green!

Onec you read this, you will understand that when I got this email from Beth Gorman from the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality,why it moved me to cut, paste, add my two cents & share.  It really does matter that we try to green this day (& all days we barbeque) up in a BIG way.  The only thing I would add is PLEASE get creative with decorating. Buy things you can reuse year after year – like the American flag & red, white & blue plates. Use pitchers of water instead of water bottles, splurge on organic tomatoes & lettuce.  Minimize the waste you create in every way you can think of – for the sake of the planet.

Here’s what Beth has to say. Well worth the read.

Many Ways to Be Green at Your July 4 Barbecue


Pima County, Ariz. – Try to barbecue without the lighter fluid over the July 4 holiday and you’ll reduce the amount of volatile organic compounds released into the air. Mixed with sunshine and other pollutants, those chemicals add to ground-level ozone. They can also taint the taste of the food you are grilling. (Mrs. Green’s thoughts? You can really taste it!)

If you plan to use charcoal, the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality recommends using a charcoal chimney and crumpled paper instead of lighter fluid – which costs about $4 a can – to light your barbecue fire. (Save money, keep the air cleaner!)

What is a charcoal chimney? It’s a metal cylinder about seven inches across with a handle and a grate in the bottom that holds the charcoal. A charcoal chimney costs about $15 and lasts for many years.

Once you light the paper and start the fire, the coals will be ready for grilling in about 15 minutes.

Grilling with propane gas, natural gas or solar energy also reduces air pollution.

The Tucson area is close to exceeding the federal government’s standard for ground-level ozone. Once ozone measures above the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s ground-level ozone standard, it can cause health problems for some people. Elevated levels of ground-level ozone can affect children, the elderly and people with lung or heart disease, including asthma and congestive heart failure.

Pima County also suggests using plates, napkins, and forks and knives that can be used again, to help save natural resources by reducing waste.

And, it’s cheaper to use a paste made of baking soda and water, and a wire brush, to clean your barbecue grill. It costs pennies and is completely non-toxic. Aerosol oven cleaners give off toxic fumes.