This week, people across American are celebrating Independence Day! Friends and family will gather at parties for patriotic food, games, and fireworks. Here are seven ways to make your Independence Day greener – because what better way to honor the country we live in than by caring by our environment?
- Stay Close to Home – By reducing the distance your travel, you will also reduce your carbon footprint. Other options for an eco-friendly party could include asking your guests to carpool, walk or bike to your party.
- Spend time Outdoors – Instead of cranking the air conditioner on high during the warmest month of the year, find ways to stay cool naturally outdoors, while saving energy. Spend time outside barbequing, boating, or lounging at the park or on the patio.
- Avoid Disposable Partyware – The convenience of paper plates and plastic cups can be replaced with other easy ideas that include reusable dishes. For instance, a party theme of “bring your own glass” or “bring your own plate” can be fun. Remember, some disposable tableware can also be washed.
- Re-purpose and Reuse Decorations – Decorations for the Fourth of July are basic since the colors are the patriotic red, white, and blue. Get creative with household items you already have that can be re-purposed or crafted into an Independence Day theme. Don’t forget to store them for reuse the next year to save on trash.
- Find Greener Fireworks – Fireworks that are rich in nitrogen put out less smoke in the environment, but will have a higher price tag. Opting to view fireworks in a group instead of buying your own will also reduce pollutants to the environment. Obviously, always properly dispose of firework debris to reduce litter.
- Avoid Plastic Water Bottles – It may be convenient to pick up a pack of bottled water, but it is also expensive and creates a lot of waste. Instead, store water or lemonade in a large container so guests can re-fill their cup or reusable water bottle as needed.
- Make it Easy for Guests to Recycle – Have a clearly marked bin at your party so guests can recycle their party waste, such as aluminum cans, glass bottles, cardboard, or plastic bottles. You could even compost leftover food! Remember, plastic cups, plates, and utensils are recyclable. Paper plates are not recyclable since food residue sticks to them.
The Fourth of July is a day of celebration in the United Sates! But let’s also make it a day that is thinking forward to create a positive impact on Mother Earth for generations to come. Being kind to our world, recycling, and reducing waste is patriotic and honorable.
What other ways can you think of to have a greener Fourth of July?