Host a summer barbecue like no other and enjoy quality time with family and friends during National BBQ Week (2nd - 11th July). As a nation we love a barbecue on a hot summer's day, hosting an incredible 100 million BBQs last summer. That's an astonishing 44% increase compared to the year before!
With summer fast approaching, we are all eager to enjoy some food and drink in the company of our loved ones. However, many people don't realise how environmentally unfriendly a traditional barbecue can be. The traditional BBQ is causing damage to our global environment - even more so if using charcoal made from non-sustainable sources. Evidence sadly shows that 97% of the charcoal bought for UK BBQs is of this type.
Living a greener lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up your summer barbecues, but making a few changes can dramatically boost your eco-credentials and help protect our planet.
Here at Ideal Heating, we are focusing on developing heating solutions that have as little impact on the environment as possible. That’s why this National BBQ Week we’ve put together some tips and tasty recipes to help you host the ultimate eco-friendly BBQ this summer.
1. Choose Low Carbon Fuel & a Top-Notch Grill
Reminder! Ditch the disposable barbecues
It’s time to invest in a good grill and give single-use barbecues a wide berth. Disposable barbecues are pretty much impossible to recycle. Choosing a high-quality grill doesn't just mean you will be cutting down on waste, but you will always have a barbecue ready for when the sun shows its face.
Good fuel is the key to a good barbie!
Top Tip: Choose sustainably-sourced charcoal, which is carbon neutral, as many charcoals have been linked to mass deforestation. As well as good fuel, you should always use the lid on your barbecue. Placing the lid on, using good quality fuel and only having the barbecue on when using it will help reduce CO2 emissions and also ensures your food will cook faster and more evenly.
2. Go Greener and Limit Your Food Waste
Stop over-preparing - only cook what you will consume!
Make a plan and stick to it! Over-catering and cooking in large quantities can result in food waste, so be organised and make sure you don’t overdo it. Keep it simple by choosing your favourite dishes and make them large enough to go around everyone.
Add some creative flair to your dishes with leftovers
Before setting off to grab some tasty BBQ foods, have a search through your fridge, freezer and cupboards for any leftover veggies and ingredients you could use to rustle up some delicious dishes. Get creative in the kitchen and try some new exciting recipes!
3. Host a Veggie-Filled BBQ
Throwing a veg-heavy BBQ will cut your carbon footprint by nearly half, putting you on the steppingstones to a more sustainable gathering. Researchers found that food production is responsible for around 25% of greenhouse-gas emissions and that vegetarians had half the carbon footprint to meat-eaters - mainly because meat takes more energy to produce.
Try opting for meat-free alternatives such as vegetable grilled skewers, baked sweet potato and some delicious halloumi burgers at your next summer BBQ. Plus it means no risk of undercooked meat! So take the opportunity to try some new vegetarian recipes - we promise, they are delicious!
4. Reduce Your Plastic Waste Today
Avoid plastic straws, plates, cups and cutlery
Say no to plastic! It’s tempting to serve your food on plastic plates and drinks in plastic cups with straws but you’ll be doing the environment a huge favour if you opt for a more durable alternative. Why not grab some bamboo or metal straws too? If the prospect of washing up after a summer gathering is too daunting, then we advise you to get some bamboo and palm-leaf alternatives that can be recycled after use.
Step into your local farm shops, greengrocers and butchers
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. Make sure to take your own bags to your local shops so you don't have to worry about plastic packaging and bags.
5. Have Some Fun and Choose ‘Green’ Drinks
Pick up some fun beverage dispensers - an easy way to reduce bottles and cans. Make yourself look super on-trend and reduce your carbon footprint by creating a range of scrumptious mocktails and cocktails to share amongst your friends and family.
Simply mix together lots of fruit, ice, juices and even your favourite alcoholic drinks. In minutes you can serve up refreshing drinks without having to worry about an abundance of leftover cans and bottles.
For more eco-friendly tips to help protect our planet, visit the Ideal Heating blog.