Now That's Cookin'!
What would summer be without barbecues, picnics, and spur-of-the-moment meals eaten outdoors? Take the "heat" out of summer cooking with these simple ideas:
- Use less energy. Take advantage of the summer's garden-fresh produce to whip up salads and other side dishes that require little or no cooking energy.
- Consider a gas grill. If you barbecue frequently at home, consider replacing your charcoal grill with a gas one. Gas grills generate fewer air pollutants than burning charcoal.
- Choose meals that don't need to be reheated to be enjoyed as leftovers.
- Get a burner feature. When buying an outdoor grill, choose one that also has a burner feature. You'll be able to cook as well as grill outside, helping to keep your kitchen cool and minimize indoor air conditioning needs.
- Choose green materials. When hosting friends at your house, use reusable or biodegradable cups and encourage recycling of cans and bottles.
- Encourage guests to bike or carpool to your event. Hold it at a location convenient to public transportation.
- Fill up pitchers of water and other beverages instead of buying individual portions.
- Buy organic and locally grown vegetables and meat as often as possible.
Tips if using a charcoal grill:
- Apply the minimum amount of lighter fluid (which contributes to air pollution) to ignite the charcoal.
- Use lump brands of charcoal made from invasive trees species or harvested from sustainably managed forests instead of briquettes. Conventional briquettes may contain coal dust or other additives as binders.
- Use a chimney starter to eliminate use of lighter fluid altogether. These metal cylinders are filled with charcoal and lit on fire using the aid of scrap paper at the bottom. Once the entire column of charcoal is lit, dump the charcoal onto your grill for a more eco-friendly barbeque.
PUT AWAY YOUR KETTLE; SEARCH OUT THE SUN!
Fill a clean, clear glass jar with fresh water and tea bags (at least three bags per half-gallon of water). Cover the jar and place it in full sunlight. Tend to your chores, read a book, take a nap - pay the jar no attention! In a matter of hours, you'll have energy-free "sun tea" to pour over ice and quench your thirst.