It's almost grilling season. This year, do it the green way:
1. Although there's still some debate, most sources agree that natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel for grills, but does require access to a gas line.
2. If that's not possible, opt for a propane grill.
3. Other options are an electric grill (if the electricity is generated from wind power) or a solar oven (although it's slower and does not produce the ''grilled" flavor most backyard chefs want).
4. Charcoal devotees should skip self-lighting briquettes and other charcoal that's shaped into briquettes that use coal dust or other additives.
5. Buy lump charcoal that's made from invasive tree species, sustainably managed forests or wood scraps left over from making flooring, furniture or housing.
6. Do not use charcoal lighter fluid. Use a cylindrical chimney starter to start the fire.
7. Use organic poultry and grass-fed beef raised locally without antibiotics or hormones.
8. Buy lean, omega-3 rich and sustainable fish (wild or raised in approved fish farms).
9. Grill more vegetables and fruits and fewer meats.
10. Make sure meats are lean and well-trimmed of fat before grilling to minimize dangers from carcinogenic substances that can form when dripping fat causes flare-ups.
11. Grill meats at lower temperatures for longer time periods to reduce the production of possibly carcinogenic substances.
12. At grill cleanup time, use soap and water and natural cleaning products.
13. When shopping for supplies, plan your trips and shop and buy locally to save on fossil fuel.
14. Buy reusable plastic cutlery and plates and reuse them. Skip paper napkins and tablecloths in favor of cloth ones that can be washed and reused.
15. Carry purchases home using cloth totes, rather than plastic bags.
Sources: Diane MacEachern, http://www.biggreenpurse.com/ and Rick Browne.