Something about the hint of smoke in the fall air compels many of us to spend hours in front of a hot grill. Whether you’re slow-smoking pork ribs or sautéing fresh vegetables, consider choosing more eco-friendly options for your cook-outs.

Rethink Charcoal. Charcoal grilling is one of the most popular methods of outdoor cooking. Instead of using traditional charcoal, which emits carbon monoxide when burned and leaves an ashy mess to contend with, consider using an all natural, plant based coal. Using a charbroil seasoning can also give your meat the char-grilled taste with less impact on the environment. If charcoal is a must, consider composting the remnants after cooking.

Consider Gas. Natural gas and propane are both cleaner burning options than charcoal and leave virtually no waste. Plus, gas grilling requires no stoking or preheating time.

The Food. If you’re grilling meat, consider choosing organic or grass-fed cuts. Fish, chicken and vegetables provide healthy and delicious alternatives to traditional beef and pork.

Cleaning up. Dispose of any recyclable materials properly. Allow your grill to cool completely before cleaning. Using a homemade cleaner such as equal parts water and vinegar can quickly lift stubborn grease.

This fall, whether you’re grilling burgers for two or preparing for a neighborhood barbecue, consider using these tips for greener grilling.

What’s your favorite tip for keeping your fall grilling eco-friendly?