Climate Change

Published on May 26th, 2014 | by Scott Cooney


Green Your Memorial Day: 5 Sustainable Holiday Favorites

vegetable kabobs

Memorial Day is a great American tradition, in which we take a day to remember and to celebrate our fallen soldiers. Here is Green Living Ideas’ top five list of ways to have an awesome, and sustainable, Memorial Day.

Play some carbon-free games with friends and family.

Get out from behind the TV, skip the excess road tripping, and hit a local park with your loved ones to play some horseshoes, bocce, frisbee, and other games. Mix it up by playing beer-in-hand (meaning you have to keep your beer in your hand while playing, and if you spill you have to drink).

Don’t have enough people for a game? Hit the road on two wheels instead of four. Go out on a long bike ride and explore your neighborhood. You may well make some friends and get invited into several barbecues!


Fire up an eco-friendly grill with sustainable foods.

Cooking outside can keep your home from heating up, which is one of the reasons why grilling is so popular in the summertime. Memorial Day, in many places, is viewed as the first day of summer, so get on outside and get to grilling. Now, barbecuing is not without its carbon footprint, of course, but it’s minimal compared to the carbon footprint of what you put on that grill. Putting a bunch of factory farmed beef, sausage and chicken on the grill means the carbon footprint and the resource needs of your food are going to be huge. Try to minimize, reduce, or heck, even eliminate your meat footprint on the grill. Recently, I’ve discovered the best veggie burger ever for grilling: it’s from Life Foods. It is soy free, gluten free, GMO free, organic, and vegan, AND holds together on a grill like a champ. I mean…check out these burgers!

Life Foods on the grill

If you need more inspiration, here’s Eat Drink Better’s top ten vegan grilling recipes.

Get a greener grill

Grills using gas tie you to fossil fuels every time you want to cook some grub. Grills using charcoal have a heavy carbon footprint. What’s a greenie who loves grilling to do? Have no fear. Inhabitat has the 4 top greener grills, including a wicked cool solar oven you can make at home.


Green up your road trip

If you’re heading out for a road trip this weekend, make sure to check out our tips for a green road trip!


Make a pledge to help America reduce its dependence on foreign oil

Energy independence is a very noble goal, worth fighting for. America’s clean technology future depends on all of us to reduce our consumption and to support renewables.

Memorial Day

Photo from Shutterstock


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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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