Monday, May 11, 2009

Throw another planet on the barbie...

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet and like many people we've been having a few barbecues. These can be a eco-minefield - some charcoal can be from the clearance of endangered mangrove swamps, 'briquettes' and lighters are oil based etc, etc.

The greenest charcoal we have found is Great North Charcoal which is locally produced from sustainably coppiced woodland. But if you don't have a resource like this on your doorstep, some bigger brands are FSC accredited (eg "Big K") so shouldn't be too damaging.

Another little eco-trick (see above) is to use strips of waste tetra-paks (recycling facilities for these are rare) as fire lighters - you can't use the foil backed cartons and make sure you don't use the plastic spout or it could get nasty!

According to this study, charcoal has a carbon footprint than LPG. I don't understand this as charcoal is a biomass fuel so if it is harvested sustainably (as above), it should be almost carbon neutral. I assume the study used the fact that most charcoal is imported.

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At 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using Tetra-Pak strips as lighters? Do you know how many toxines you are blasting into the atmosphere that way? I'm not just talking about CO2, but the more nasty things. Guess what the reason for filters on waste burning plants is? Guess why it's so bad if our waste gets burned in China (or your backyard BBQ) where they don't have filters?


teijin at

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Gareth Kane said...

Go on, tell me how many - preferably as a % of the barbecue as a whole... I don't think a couple of strips of waxed paper makes a significant difference!


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