The 4th of July holiday is right around the corner and more than two-thirds of Americans turn on their grills emitting about 225,000 metric tons of carbon just on this day alone. It’s amazing how humanity can do so much damage in one day. So, this year take steps to eliminate your carbon footprint in order to prevent causing more dangers to our planet and the people who count on it the most, us. There are things you could do to reduce emissions without excluding the grill.

  • Buy local food – Locally-grown and raised foods take less time to get to your table and use less fuel to transport. This means less greenhouse gases are emitted. About 11 percent of carbon emissions caused by food comes from transportation.
  • Cook a lot of food at once – Use all space on the grill as possible to minimize the amount of propane or charcoal that is burning.
  • Eat more veggies than beef – Beef has the highest carbon emissions generating about 60 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • Use a propane grill versus charcoal – Propane has a much lower carbon footprint compared to charcoal. A charcoal grill emits three times more greenhouse gases harming our planet.
  • If you can’t avoid a charcoal grill, stay away from lighter fluid – Lighter fluid consists of volatile organic compounds (VOC) that are dangerous air pollutants and form ozone gas. Americans release more than 14,000 tons of VOC’s into the atmosphere every year from lighter fluid alone. The VOC’s also form carbon dioxide and water vapor that is emitted into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the use of a chimney starter or an electric charcoal starter.