Charcoal or propane? Which is greener?
Propane produces about half of the emissions that conventional charcoals do, plus it burns cleanly, meaning less smoke. Once you're done with your propane tank, you can trade it in for a discount on your next tank.
Three out of four Americans own a grill, so if yours is charcoal, here are two eco-impacts to keep in mind:
1. Air pollution caused by additives that help light and heat generic charcoal
2. Deforestation, as some briquettes are made from trees that were not harvested in a sustainable manner.
If you just love that smoky flavor that a natural gas or propane gas grill just can't give you, then read those labels and look for bags that say "no harmful additives" or "harvested from sustainable forests."
It may take a little more effort to find natural or organic charcoal options, but the perks are worth it. First, there's no strange aftertaste in your food. Also, it burns cleaner and leaves behind fewer ashes. If you're a smart shopper, you'll find that most green charcoal runs about the same price as traditional bags.
Don't go to this additional effort if you're going to douse your charcoal with lighter fluid. Instead, consider using newspaper and a grill chimney.
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