Can I be green on a budget?

Sizzle in Your Grizzle

For some folks, Sunday means grilling. Cooking over an open flame is always a treat, but it’s not always beneficial to the environment. According to, charcoal (and those easygoing briquettes are the worst offenders) creates clouds of soot that can lodge in the lungs. In addition, cancer-causing compounds like benzene are also released. What’s a hungry chef to do? Electric grills are your cleanest option, as they release 99 percent less carbon monoxide and 91 percent less carbon dioxide than charcoal, says the

If you can’t afford to buy a new grill, or are perfectly happy with your charcoal one, consider natural charcoal as your contribution to a healthy cookout. For example, Cowboy Charcoal hardwood charcoal (about $12 per bag, compared to about $10 for a bag of regular charcoal briquettes) burns quicker, hotter and cleaner, and is made of maple and oak leftovers from furniture factories.

Once you get into the practice of going green, chances are it will come more naturally until it is indeed more like a lifestyle and not just a whim. The key is not to go whole hog all at once or beat yourself up for buying nonorganic milk (or beer, as the case may be). Green, like so much of life, is all about compromise.