Many of us will fire up a grill this summer to enjoy a cookout with family and friends. How we do it though, can make a big difference. The classic charcoal grill typically generates about three times the greenhouse emissions as a gas grill for the same cooking job. Part of that is because we tend to overuse charcoal, whereas we turn off the gas or propane when the job is done. One study found that the typical charcoal grilling session emits as much carbon dioxide as driving a car for roughly 26 miles. That may not sound like much, but since some 90 million Americans own charcoal grills, the potential is high for considerable impact. That impact is further compounded if the charcoal isn’t drawn from renewable sources and if we light it with a fossil fuel starter.
What we can do:
- If we have a charcoal grill, use a chimney starter and load charcoal sparingly.
- As with drinking beer, let’s enjoy outdoor cooking responsibly.