grilling

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: When grilling during the summer (or any time) use these simple tips to reduce waste and keep your grilling a little greener.

  • Use a Better Grill.
    • Conventional charcoal burns dirty and produces greenhouse gases. If you have a charcoal grill, look for organic or natural lump brands. Natural gas is the most energy-efficient; however, infrared grills are the greenest as they heat quickly, use the least energy, and use less gas than regular gas grills.
    • Grills made of cast iron or stainless steel are the safest because they remain non-toxic at any temperature. Watch out for models made from chrome-coated aluminum, which can become toxic if the aluminum oxidizes. Stay away from lighter fluids, which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
    • Buy an a grill that is sized to fit your needs. A larger grill uses more energy because it takes longer to heat.
  • Non-Toxic Cleaning.
    • Before you turn on your grill, clean the grate with baking soda instead of store-bought chemicals. Use a wire brush and a paste of equal parts baking soda and water.
    • After your cookout, take a halved onion and rub it over the grate to get rid of excess food. Brush olive oil over the grate afterwards so the food won’t stick the next time you grill.
  • Set a Sustainable Table.
    • When serving your guests, go with reusable cutlery, glasses and plates. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. If you can’t use reusable dishware, cutlery or napkins, choose biodegradable, recycled , or unbleached picnicware.
  • Serve Sustainable Foods.
    • Fill your menu with greener options by choosing USDA certified organic or local grass-fed meat. If you’re a vegetarian, try certified organic soy hot dogs and burgers. Instead of using tomatoes and onions sprayed with pesticides, shop at your local farmer’s market to pick up your produce. You’ll also find pesticide-free meat products.
  • Recycle & Compost. 
    • Make it easy for guests to recycle by placing recycling bins next to the trashcan. Make sure each can has a label clearly marked: paper, plastic and aluminum. If you have a lot of leftover food scraps, compost the proper foods. Remember to never compost dairy or meat products.
  • Prevent Pests. 
    • To keep pests from plaguing your cookout, throw sage and rosemary on the hot grill. Mosquitoes hate these plants and will stay away, and the herbs add a pleasant aroma to your get-together. Another mosquito prevention trick is to set out a cup of sugar water. The mosquitoes will flock to the sugar water and stay away from your guests.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Grilling Addiction

GrillingAddiction.com is an excellent place to find grilling tips, tricks, techniques and recipes all year round. One of my favorites is Grilled Pizza Margherita and the Cedar Planked Potatoes with Rosemary and the… I could go on and on.

 

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: When grilling during the summer (or any time) ensure that you are doing everything you can to green your BBQ.

According to Greenzer.com, on the Fourth of July alone, an estimated 60 million barbecues light up nationwide, consuming enough energy to power 20,000 households for an entire year. And this number doesn’t even take into account the waste of paper, plastic, and food that goes into barbecuing.

  • Grill with a gas or electric grill. Charcoal grills emit carbon monoxide and soot as it burns. If you do have a charcoal-burning grill, be sure to look for eco-friendly charcoal. Lump charcoal is made from hardwood and produces less ash than briquettes.
  • Buy grills made of cast iron or stainless steel. Grills made of cast iron or stainless steel are the safest because they remain non-toxic at any temperature. Watch out for models made from chrome-coated aluminum, which can become toxic if the aluminum oxidizes. Stay away from lighter fluids, which release VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air.
  • Use eco-friendly dinnerware and utensils. If you can’t use reusable dishware, cutlery or napkins, choose biodegradable, recycled , or unbleached picnicware.
  • Use biodegradable garbage bags. People tend to shy away from these since they assume they are more expensive. But they really don’t cost much more than regular plastic bags! It’s worth spending a few more cents on your garbage bags than contributing to the plastic in the landfills.
  • Have a designated recycling bin. Make sure everyone knows where they should put their recycling.
  • Use cloth tablecloths & napkins. So much better than all of that paper! It’s much more eco-friendly to use cloth products; after the barbecue you can throw them in the laundry and they’re ready for your next big BBQ!
  • Serve green food. Barbecues tend to be very meat focused. Fill your menu with greener options by choosing USDA certified organic or local grass-fed meat. If you’re a vegetarian, try certified organic soy hot dogs and burgers.
  • Serve green drinks. Have pitchers of tap water instead of individual water bottles. If soda is necessary, get the big 2 liter bottles instead of individuals cans. For alcoholic drinks, it’s the greener choice to get your alcohol locally so it doesn’t travel as far, just like your food.
  • Keep it green when you clean. Keep your grill in top condition by scrubbing it down after use with an all-natural grill cleaner.

Source: SunnKing.com and MyGreenSide.org.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Global Stewards
Global Stewards
is a site that provides environmental tips and sustainable solutions for a healthy planet. Their goal is to provide environmental tips for sustainable living and information about exciting solutions that are speeding the shift toward a sustainable way of life.

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