Go Green: Eco-friendly barbequing

Pollute less when barbequing. / Mike Morrison

Fall is here and our outdoor temperatures have cooled enough that people are spending more time outside. For many autumn is the time to fire up the grill but it seems that even cooking outdoors can be harmful to our environment. Here's a look in this week's Go Green.

It was soon after mankind discovered fire that the first barbeque occurred and we've been barbequing and grilling ever since. It seems that even this apparently wholesome activity has a flip side when it comes to our health and the health of our environment. As you would expect firing up that charcoal grill releases a good amount of carbon dioxide. While not as big of an offender as let's say the family car when it comes to co2, charcoal grilling can produce other pollutants bad for us and the environment like fine sooty particles which can irritate lungs and compounds like benzene which is a carcinogen. As you would expect there are greener alternatives. You could go with gas. Propane and natural gas grills are more energy efficient and burn cleaner than charcoal. Greener still would be to use an electric grill but that may be asking too much as grilling should include an open flame!

Now don't pull the plug on your tailgating tradition of grilling with charcoal just yet because there are greener ways to go there as well. Switch from your standard charcoal that can contain coal dust, sodium nitrate, sawdust and petroleum products and stay away from quick-start charcoals soaked in starter fluids. Instead look for eco-friendly charcoals widely available. These charcoals have no unhealthy additives and produce less greenhouse gases and soot when they burn. It's true that getting your charcoal burning hot can be a challenge without lighter fluid so try out an electric charcoal starter or better yet pick up a chimney starter and soon you'll be grilling green. So go ahead and get your grill on and be friendly to the environment at the same time. For this week's Go Green I'm Mike Morrison FOX 31 news.