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Sustainable Consumption: Green Barbecue Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

May 27, 2024
memorial day weekend

Since today is Memorial Day Weekend, many Americans will be out and about holding outdoor gatherings and barbecues to commemorate the occasion. However, amid the festivities, it’s ideal to consider the environmental impact of our food choices. 


Grilling season often conjures images of sizzling burgers and juicy steaks, but there are plenty of eco-friendly practices to explore. For your Memorial Day barbecue, here are some ways to make it as “green” as it can be:


Choose plant-based meals

Plant-based meals are a great way to eat healthy while helping the environment. With ingredients such as vegetables, whole grains, and seeds, these meat alternatives tip the scale when it comes to “greening” your grilling. Prepare veggie skewers using bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms ​​brushed with a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. You can also grill portobello mushrooms stuffed with cooked quinoa, sautéed onions, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese, or whip up a grilled peach salad by caramelizing ripe peaches on the grill and serving them on a bed of mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette, crumbled goat cheese, and toasted almonds. By incorporating green barbecue recipes into your Memorial Day menu, you will not only demonstrate your commitment to sustainable consumption but will also delight your guests with fresh and flavorful dishes.

Buy low-impact meat

Meats that have less impact on the environment, like grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, are a much healthier choice compared to regular meats. 

Grass-fed beef contains healthy fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Meanwhile, free-range chicken has higher protein content and important vitamins and minerals. By selecting these options, we can boost our health and lower our impact on the environment at the same time. 


Avoid food waste

Minimizing food waste does not only mean more savings but also less garbage and a healthier planet. Here are some ways for you to make better use of food: 

  • Plan portion sizes carefully – Before grilling, figure out how much food you need based on how many guests you have and what they like. Start by serving small portions and let people get more if they want. This helps avoid wasting food.
  • Make use of leftovers – Don’t let leftovers go to waste. Add leftover grilled vegetables to salads, wraps, or omelets, or use leftover meat in pasta dishes, soups, or sandwiches. Encourage your guests to take leftovers home. You can also donate your extra food to local shelters.
  • Compost organic waste – Compost food scraps instead of throwing them away. You can start your own compost pile in your backyard or join a community composting program. Compost can be used to make garden soil richer.


Use eco-friendly plates and charcoal

When planning an eco-friendly barbecue, choosing sustainable food is not the only way to go. You should also say goodbye to disposables or single-use plastics. Choose recyclable plates and cutlery or those that can break down naturally such as bamboo or plastic made from plants. This will help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up as waste. In addition, when buying charcoal, pick one that comes from forests that are managed responsibly. Propane grills also have efficient combustion technology that produces less smoke and greenhouse gases. This results in cleaner air and a healthier environment for everyone.

This Memorial Day, show your commitment to sustainable consumption while treating your family and guests to delicious grilled dishes. Let’s honor our service members and protect the earth, one barbecue at a time. For more culinary inspiration and economical cooking tips, visit and join the movement toward a greener future.