By Scott Meeks

OK grill masters -- break out the barbecue sauce because it's time to do some green grillin'. Summer time and grilling go hand in hand. And keeping things eco-friendly is easier now than ever before. Here are a few crunchy tips to keep in mind this summer.

Propane perks

- Propane produces about half of the emissions that conventional charcoals do.

- Propane burns cleanly -- meaning less smoke.

- Once you're done with your propane tank, you can trade it in for a discount on your next tank.

Choosing charcoal

- Typical charcoal has additives that help with lighting and heating. Additives cause pollution.

- Some briquettes are made from trees that were not harvested in a sustainable manner. So read those labels.

- Look for bags of charcoal that say no additives or harvested from sustainable forests.

- If you find organic or natural lump charcoal -- buy it!

Lighting your grill

The last thing you want to do is ruin all your natural efforts by dousing your grill with a chemical lighter fluid. So to keep it all eco-friendly, go with some newspaper and a chimney. That'll heat up your grill and your summer -- the easy green way!

Scott Meeks is a passionate environmental journalist, lifestylist and author. You can learn more about him and his eco-ways at