How to Plan an Environment-Friendly Outdoor Cookout

Are you planning a party, reunion, or a patio cookout barbecue with co-workers, friends, or neighbors? And you want to plan and organize this while considering the environment. Continue reading.

It’s vital to consider every aspect of our daily activities, including a harmless cookout party. For example, while the environmental impact of grilling is negligible to some extent, it has shown to contribute to air pollution and our carbon emissions. You can make your cookout green, adding some changes to your grill process and the type of products you use throughout the party. Use these to make your outdoor cookout more environmentally friendly.

If you’re planning a cookout for a large or small gathering, you’ll be excited to bring out the old fallbacks: bottled beer, packaged meat, paper plates, canned drinks, and plastic tableware. Regrettably, although these will create effortlessness and convenience, they also come with several avoidable adverse environmental effects and waste. Before we highlight several eco-friendly points for your cookout, let’s point out some factors to consider for an outdoor party.

Elements to Consider

·        Plan Properly

Please make a list and go through it thoroughly to make sure you have everything for the cookout.

·        Attendees

Make a list of who is attending. (Don’t forget to send invites and reminders when the cookout day draws near). Send it digitally.

·        When (Date/Time)

Summers and holidays are best for an outdoor party. There are holidays, including Labor Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, 4th of July. 

·        Location

A Local Restaurant/Event Venue, Your Own Backyard/Patio, a local body of water, a lake, river, ocean or your Cul-de-sac (A block party)

·        Menu

Pick the right combination and choices of food for categories of those who will be attending. It’s also vital to pick food that you will comfortably prepare. Some other factors include the number of guests, location, time, and budget (steak or burgers). Will there be main dish side dishes, appetizers, dessert, nibbles, or take-home? Overall make sure that the food is environment friendly.

·        Music and Games

Keep the games simple and reduce noise. Remember that noise is pollution too.

Use These Tips to Plan an Environment-Friendly Cookout

1.   Avoid Charcoal Blocks

  • You will find them in many stores, but the effect of low-cost charcoal isn’t as simple as its price. Firstly, using wood or charcoal emits smoky particles that can stay in the lungs, inflaming asthma, and other respiratory difficulties. Besides, hazardous composites, including benzene, are released into the air.
  • To lessen the effect of burning charcoal, search for the cleanest way out. Use gas instead if you can. Gas grills produce fewer pollutants and are more energy-efficient than charcoal grills. Since many grills have a natural gas preference, use natural gas because it burns cleaner than propane girls and is the cleanest fossil fuel.
  • Another option is an outdoor electric grill that is run by renewable energy. 
  • If you have to use charcoal, buy natural charcoal manufactured from hardwood with no additives and generates a reduced amount of ash when smoldered than briquettes. However, try to light the charcoal with a natural ignition agent like fatwood or invest in an electric charcoal starter or charcoal chimney.

2.   Use Non-Plastic Plates & Flatware

  • It’s easy to throw used plastic cutlery, cups into the garbage after barbecue’s over, but that does more harm to the environment than you think. Moreover, it’s a waste of cash, and one-use plates and tableware add to loads of plastic waste reeling in oceans and many landfills.
  • If the cookout event occurs in your backyard, make use of glassware, cups, plates, and the cutlery you have in the kitchen. Using public place, use re-usable plastic and bio-degradable (compostable cutlery) alternatives manufactured with sugar cane or bamboo. It is also advisable to purchase re-usable canopies that are useful in every event.

3.   Choose Local Meat & Produce

  • Use more vegetables. Purchase meat from your local market. Buy grass-fed beef, vegetables, and produce that is grown by a local farmer. If there’s a farmer’s market in your area, visit it in advance to order what you need for your cookout.
  • Besides, trim excess fat from meat before and while you cook it. It will reduce flare-ups, make the meat healthier, and inadvertently limit the exposure of dangerous chemicals to the environment.

4.   Drink Eco-Friendly Beverages

  • Many people find it convenient to load their trucks or cars with beer, soda and dump them in a cooler for a party. It’s easier to do that, and many Americans dispose of heaps of aluminum beverage cans every year. Only a small amount of it gets recycled, and a considerable percentage gets dumped at landfills. If children are at the cookout, make huge decanters/flasks of punch, iced tea, that pour quickly into cups.
  • For the grownups and adults, pick organic and local beers in a keg manufactured in a local brewery.  If there won’t be many beer drinkers at the party, opt for glass bottles because glass is a solid that is recycled continuously without dropping quality, purity, and strength. If there will be wine, prepare your portable wine coolers and a glass cup container. 
  • Prepare a container for guests to drop empty bottles so that it will be easily disposed of and recycled after the party. It would be best if you also chose eco-friendly beer.

5.   Make a Plan for Leftovers

Food wastage isn’t a good thing. You may pack food in little bags for guests to take home. Another thing you can do is put a portion of food available on display and refill if needed so that the rest can be easily refrigerated and used later.


With preparation and flexibility, you can organize a great cookout with delicious food and drink with environmental sustainability.

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