Grilling-out isn’t exactly a new concept. Since the discovery of fire, humans have been cooking over an open flame. So why is it that grilling gets a bad environmental reputation, when it’s been a major method of cooking for all but the last few hundred years?
It’s because one type of grilling is significantly greener than the other. Specifically, charcoal grilling is less eco-friendly. Here’s why:
- Grilling with charcoal or wood produces soot, which pollutes the air and aggravates chronic heart and lung problems. Soot, made of small particles of unburned carbon, is a big deal. Coal power plants and diesel vehicles emit mountains of it, and this pollution is estimated to kill 13,000 Americans each year. Although grilling isn’t the main source of soot, we know that every step counts.
- In terms of CO2 emissions, charcoal grilling is also worse than propane. According to a prominent British study, “charcoal grilling, on average, produces three times more greenhouse gases than propane grilling.”
- Finally, propane grills are more efficient than charcoal grills, because the temperature is easier to control. So a propane grill doesn’t waste as much energy during heat up or cool down.
BBQ’s can still be eco-friendly, so get outside, get grillin’ and get green!
Photo from Proof of the Pudding / flickr