Florida Crystals® introduces the ABCs of a sustainable barbecue

Fire up the grill and get ready to host a sustainable barbeue with these tips.


Summer is grilling season, and there’s nothing better than gathering with friends and family in the backyard or at a local park. The smell of the grill. The sound of some music. The warm weather. It’s heaven on earth, and it’s important that we keep the Earth in mind as we enjoy ourselves.


Florida Crystals® has long been a leader in sustainable agricultural practices that help protect our planet. We’ve pioneered a no-waste process that uses every part of the pure, raw sugarcane we harvest and puts it to use to make our operations as low-impact as possible and to keep our sugar as close to the cane as it can be. Now, you may not need to think about how to harvest thousands of acres of sugarcane, but below you’ll find a few tips we’ve put together to help you keep things green and clean during your next BBQ:

Ditch the disposables

When the party moves outside, there’s a tendency for a lot of disposable goods to go with it. Plastic forks, cups and plates spend a few moments in your hand, then decades in a landfill. Using real utensils, plates and glasses is far better, but what if you don’t have enough for a larger crowd? Here’s an idea—Hit up your local thrift store. An eclectic collection of mismatched plates, glasses and cutlery will add a funky flair to your event. When you’re done, you can wash and keep them for your next gathering, or even donate them right back to the same store for someone else to use. They’re surprisingly inexpensive (often 50¢ or less per piece) and completely reusable.

Cut Out Most Containers

Look around most BBQs and you’ll see coolers full of plastic water and soda bottles, juice boxes for the kids, and plenty of beer for the grown-ups. But what if you kept that cooler full of ice and served beverages differently? Pitchers of water, juice or fruit punch sweetened with Florida Crystals® Regenerative Organic Raw Cane Sugar can be made available for everyone to drink from reusable cups. Soda can be purchased in 2-liter bottles to reduce the number used. And when it comes to beer, growlers are more popular than ever for serving a variety of craft brews, or a keg is a great option for larger parties that produces no waste whatsoever. Even better, choose growlers or kegs from nearby breweries and you’ll be supporting local businesses as well.

Serve up sustainability

Even the food you choose can have an impact on your party’s environmental footprint. Go with local fruits, vegetables and other goods whenever possible. It takes a lot less energy to transport food across town than across the globe. And think about cutting out, or at least minimizing, meat as much as possible. But If a juicy backyard burger is what you’re craving, look to a local, organic farmer for some grass-fed beef. It’s more delicious, and less harmful for the planet. 

Whatever you can’t reduce, recycle

We know it’s not always possible to eliminate waste entirely, but putting out clearly labeled containers can help contain whatever waste remains. Recycle any plastic bottles, utensils, cups or containers, as well as any glass, paper or cardboard that’s free of food residue. And while paper napkins can’t be recycled, you can buy ones made with recycled materials ahead of time. After all, every bit helps.