How to Green Your Summer Camping and BBQ

Walking down the street today, it’s clear that summer is here. Which for many leads to thoughts of road trips, camping, and festivals. All of which likely will involve eating. And unless you’re an ace fire starter, you’ll likely use Sterno, that bright pink goo that you just don’t go there, as far as what it’s made of. What else are you going to use?

EcoFlame camp fire gelYou might want to try Ecoflame. Their Warming Gel serves the same purpose, but is made from sugar cane derived ethanol, rather then coal or petroleum based as many conventional options are, and the packaging itself is recyclable, the label made from sugar cane. The first question that comes to my mind is, where does this sugarcane come from? Is it harvested sustainably? Yes it’s a renewable resource, but does it consume more then its fair share of resources to be made?

That said, it’s non toxic, and has no toxic emissions. The same cannot be said for the others, that require ventilation in order to not be damaging to you.





For those of you that prefer your travel indoors and want a late night hot snack, they have 1 hour “room service” size available. It can safely and quickly be put out with just water.

If you’re doing that summer ritual known as BBQ, their Lighting Gel makes a capable stand in for the usual lighter fluid, and again is sugar cane based, however this time they qualify it with, “from organic matter such as cane sugar.” Hmm. However, it burns smokeless, with no carbon monoxide emissions, and is non toxic. In a benefit that this still city slicker doesn’t understand, it can also burn on ice and snow. Can anybody tell me why you’d want to do that?

If you find yourself somewhere without something to burn, but need heat quick, they have Quick Lighting Gel. Ah, the burning on ice thing, it’s making sense now…From there they have of cooking setups, from the minimal to the full BBQ ready set up.

What if you want to skip man made fuels all together?

Woodgas camp stoveAnother option to consider is the Woodgas Camping Stove. This intriguing device allows you to use any burnable organic matter in the area, ie pine cones, etc. and has a battery powered fan that helps amplify the flames to maximize the heat created from what you’ve put in. Now, putting in old socks and Silly Putty defeats the purpose, but if you’re out camping, and want to forgo carrying cans of fuel, and the need to dispose or recycle them, this could be an option. And as shown here, it can be solar powered. Having an enclosed heat source will also likely reduce the possibility of setting unwanted fires, that your typical camp fire may pose.

Readers: What are some green options for eco friendly camping or green BBQ that you’re using this summer?

Additional Resources:

Seven Tips For Greening Your Barbecue This SummerEat Drink Better

Rothbury: A Music Festival With A PurposeSustainablog

My Sustainable Road Trip : Green Options

Camping With Your KidsEco Child’s Play

Image Credits : http://www.ecogel.com and  http://www.woodgas-stove.com/






About the Author

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media. Who he has and wants to work with includes consumer, media, clean tech, NGOs, social ventures, and museums. For more on GreenSmith Consulting, see www.greensmithconsulting.com He also writes for Triple Pundit www.triplepundit.com
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