Eco-friendly barbecue – How is it done the right way?

Eco-friendly barbecue – How is it done the right way?

As soon as the thermometer rises above 20 degrees, we smell a well-known barbecue smell from the gardens and balconies. Now they also want to spoil the barbecue for us, some might think. Yes, because unfortunately the majority still throws cheap meat and sausages on the grill. As long as it is a lot!

Basically, the higher the vegetarian and at the same time regional portion on the grill, the more sustainable the barbecue pleasure. Because meat consumption has its ecological price.

A not inconsiderable part of the global greenhouse gas emissions is on its account, resources such as water and energy are devoured during production and rainforests are cleared. If you still want meat, it is recommended that it be of organic and regional origin. This guarantees minimum standards in terms of species-appropriate husbandry and environmentally friendly cultivation, and long transport routes are also eliminated.


Barbecue masters who use fresh, seasonal and regional vegetables wherever possible protect the environment. Zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms or green asparagus are also healthy and delicious. Patties, grilled cheese, fruit and bread can also be grilled, there are no limits to creativity. There are plenty of recipes for homemade barbecue sauces or grilled bread on the internet.

Trash in the parks

Many cities have public barbecue areas. Unfortunately when looking around you can’t help to notice that they are still common practice – the disposable grills. In order to avoid waste, you should avoid disposable grills. Conventional, durable metal grills are better. You could use, for example, portable grills that you can take with you anywhere.

Even plastic or cardboard dishes that can be used only once consume unnecessarily energy and resources. Therefore, you should use your own camping, porcelain or hard plastic dishes for a barbecue trip. By the way: Grill trays made of aluminum are harmful to health. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany warned of this. Eating out of aluminum bowls is dangerous because the metal gets into the food. There are good alternatives: Large cabbage leaves, for example, which simply end up in the organic waste afterwards. In addition to disposable grills and disposable tableware, it would also be good to choose vegetables that are not packaged in plastic if possible, as this also reduces mountains of garbage in parks.

Coal is not just coal

What many do not know: Conventional charcoal often comes from tropical forests. Unfortunately, the packaging does not have to state how the wood was harvested, what type of tree it is and from which area it comes. According to the Federal Statistical Office, 227,000 tons of charcoal were imported in 2015. Most of the charcoal came from Poland, Paraguay and Nigeria. So there is probably a lot of tropical wood on the grill. Normally one would assume that the FSC seal would help. However, studies showed that assortments with the declaration “made from local hardwoods” also contained admixtures of tropical/subtropical woods. In two cases, the batches were even FSC or PEFC certified. Otherwise regional charcoal would be better. But now there are alternatives as well. The OlioBric company produces briquettes from the waste from olive oil pressing, from stones, skins and fruit pulp residues, the so-called olive pomace.

Once the grill and charcoal are in position, it’s time to light up. Chemical grill lighters should be avoided. Easily combustible, ecological materials such as small branches and sticks, cardboard, wool or cotton wool work just as well. As with the barbecue itself, the same applies here: good things take time.

Basically, when barbecuing outside, if there is any rubbish, take it with you or dispose of it correctly in the nearest rubbish bin.