Surf and Turf: How to Throw an Ocean-friendly BBQ

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People always say that Los Angeles doesn’t have seasons. We disagree. We can always tell that it’s summer by the inescapable desire to fire up the grill and throw a good old fashioned backyard BBQ. Celebrate the season with pride, Angelenos! Just be sure to also honor our earth with these ocean-friendly tips that save water, fight ocean pollution and protect endangered sea creatures.

Hit the farmers market. Buying fruit, veggies and other goods straight from local farmers means you can cut way back on ocean-polluting plastic packaging. As an eco-bonus, you’ll also curb the carbon emissions that come from transporting food from faraway farms to your supermarket shelf. And whenever possible, go organic to take a stand against pesticides—another major source of ocean pollution. Just don’t forget to bring your reusable bags.

Choose sustainable seafood. Keep overfished species like Atlantic bluefin tuna, Atlantic cod and Chilean sea bass off your dinner table, and opt for sustainable seafood like yellowfin tuna, Pacific cod, Alaskan sablefish, farm-raised tilapia. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a downloadable pocket guide of which fish to buy and which to avoid.

Smarten up your veggie prep. To start, grab a vegetable brush and scrub up your veggies in a large bowl. You’ll loosen the dirt and won’t need to leave the faucet running while you work on each piece of produce. Steaming veggies instead of boiling also saves water—and keeps more antioxidants and other nutrients in your food. And anytime there’s leftover water from your cooking, let it cool and then use it to quench thirsty houseplants.

Post-meal cleanup. Instead of tossing fruit and veggie scraps into the garbage disposal or trash, start a compost pile. Compost can help nourish your soil and makes your garden more water-efficient by helping the soil hold on to more H20. If you’re serving fried chicken or deep frying any other goodies, don’t dump the used cooking oil down the drain or toilet, which can clog sewer lines. Cool the oil in plastic containers and recycle it at one of L.A.’s SAFE Centers. And remember, litter travels. Be sure to pick up and dispose of trash and recyclables properly.

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