Image for blog - How to throw an eco-friendly barbecue Image for blog - How to throw an eco-friendly barbecue
Features // Blog

How to throw an eco-friendly barbecue

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by

Dani R

Jul 08, 2021
6 minutes to read

Last year, Brits threw a whopping 100 million barbecues, and the barbecue trend is only getting bigger! However, barbecues aren’t always very good for the environment, as 97% of charcoal is made from non-sustainable sources.

Luckily, the folks at Ideal Heating (which specialises in low carbon heating solutions) have come up with 5 top tips to hosting the ultimate eco-friendly barbecue this summer.

Purchase a Top-Quality Grill & Low Carbon Fuel

It’s time to invest in a good quality grill and sustainably-sourced charcoal, and give single-use barbecues a wide berth! When it comes to disposable barbecues they are almost impossible to recycle, so cut down on waste and invest in a grill that will last you a lifetime.

The majority of charcoal in the UK has a high carbon footprint, so pick up some sustainably-sourced and carbon-neutral charcoal. Look out for UKFS approved brands which support the regeneration of UK woodlands and avoid the polluting odours released with chemical charcoal. Other sustainable fuel alternatives include fuel made from maize or even banana skins! Using wood-based firelighters is another easy swap.

Limit Your Food Waste for a Greener Gathering

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Barbecuing is so much fun that it’s easy to go overboard and cook enough sausages to feed a small army. But before you head to the shops to buy more food for the barbecue, have a look and see what’s in the cupboards. Maybe there’s some aubergines you can grill, or some chicken thighs you could make into kebabs.

Get organised, make a plan and stick to it! Over-preparing can result in food waste, so create family favourites which can be shared amongst everyone.

Host a Veggie-Filled BBQ

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Cut your carbon footprint by nearly half and host a veg-filled BBQ! There’s plenty of delicious cookbooks out there to inspire you - we particularly recommend Rukmini Iyer’s The Green Barbecue and Genevieve Taylor‘s Charred.

Remember - shop small and grab your BBQ essentials from local farm shops and greengrocers. You’ll not only be supporting your local businesses, but you will be using seasonal produce that is riper and tastier too.

Reduce Plastic Waste

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Avoid single-use plastic cups, plates, straws and cutlery. Grab some reusable enamel cups, plates, and cutlery - a light, unbreakable alternative to plastic.

If the prospect of washing up after a summer gathering is too daunting, then try bamboo or palm-leaf alternatives that can be recycled after use.

You can further reduce your plastic waste by making sure to take your own bags to your local shops, so you don’t have to worry about plastic packaging and bags.

Mix Up Some Summer Drinks to Share

Image for blog - How to throw an eco-friendly barbecue

Purchasing a fun drink dispenser can help reduce bottles and cans at any outdoor party. Create delicious cocktail and mocktail jugs to share by simply mixing together fruit, ice and juices.

For more tips to help protect the planet, visit the Ideal Heating blog.

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