An eco friendly barbecue

patio-heater-increases-carbon-footprintIs there such a thing as an eco friendly barbecue, or is it a contradiction in terms? Do we have to give up one of our nation’s favourite past times if we are to be dark green?

I’ve been thinking about this and have come up with a few ideas for reducing our carbon footprint. I’d love to hear yours too!

Fossil fuels[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]0572024185[/amazon-product]

Many modern barbecues are all singing, all dancing gizmos that guzzle a load of fossil fuels to generate gas or electricity.  Gone are the days of a few chunks of charcoal sitting on a few bricks like I had as a child!

Combine your modern barbecue with a patio heater and one barbecue can raise your carbon footprint considerably. A patio heater can emit as much carbon dioxide in two hours as a car does in a day!

Renewable energy

If you want to indulge in some greener al fresco dining this year, then choose a traditional charcoal barbecue from sustainably sourced fuel. Most of the charcoal sold in the UK is imported from tropical rainforests which we want to avoid.

Look for charcoal with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo. Check out British charcoal, produced from renewable coppiced woodland. You can buy it from Bio Regional.

[amazon-product small=”1″]0895296136[/amazon-product]Ethical food

Don’t choose ‘value packs’ or economy meat. Not only are you eating poor quality meat filled with synthetic flavourings and additives which is bad for your health, but the animals have endured a traumatic life with intensive farming and artificial feeding.

Visit your local butcher or farmers market and buy local, humanely reared meat. If you opt for supermarkets, then select free range and organic meat. Buy sustainably caught fish and enjoy local vegetables.  Make sure you include plenty of vegetarian options at your barbecue – eating a vegetarian diet can slash your carbon footprint dramatically and you might just inspire someone with your culinary know how.


Use recycled aluminium foil and and grown up, washable plates, cutlery, napkins and glasses instead of plastic or paper disposable items. The washing up will only take a few minutes and you’ll keep a load of items out of the landfill

Finish your feast with some fair-trade wine and remember to recycle your empties for a memorable evening with the minimum of guilt!

What about you? What are your eco friendly barbecue tips?


  1. CGabriel on April 18, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Lovely piece and spot-on across the board. You make great sense (as usual). Here’s the thing for me, however…

    I need a No Bug-Friendly Barbecue. Here in Minnesota, mosquitoes often grow to the size of sparrows…and that’s only a mild exaggeration. It’s not uncommon to see small children being carried down the highway by giant, mutant mosquitoes. If you can help me figure out an eco-friendly way to eliminate these things, I will pay for your daughter’s college.

    My wife won’t allow me to use bug spray, a fogger, blow torch or rocket launcher. She insists any of these might upset the neighbors. Ok, fine, perhaps the spray and fogger would be intrusive, but I see nothing wrong with the blow torch and rocket launcher.

    Anyway, you’re always on the cutting edge of stuff – I’ll just keep coming back, reading your wonderful content and…………..waiting for The Eco Mosquito Solution. 🙂

  2. Mrs Green on April 25, 2009 at 6:16 am

    @CGabriel: Hi Christopher; glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for taking time to comment.

    Rocket launchers and blow torches sound fun; I wonder why your lovely lady is against them so?!

    My first question would be – what natural remedies have you tried so far for the mosquitos?

    And my other question is – does everyone in your family get bitten?

    My experience is that certain people taste good to mosquitoes and others don’t. Instead of rabbiting on here, however, I’ve written an article just for you and your beautiful family:

  3. Jessica on April 29, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    This is SUCH a great idea!

    Keep ’em comin’!

    Jessica B
    Structured Green

  4. Mrs Green on May 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks Jessica!
    What sort of products are your best sellers over at Structured green? Do you have anything that will help people enjoy a more eco friendly barbecue?