Ah, the Fourth of July! It conjures up images of fireworks, picnics, hot summer days and sultry summer nights. And if you’ve ever been around after a big festival or parade, it also conjures up mountains of trash. Tread lightly on the earth this Fourth and celebrate our country’s independence in eco-friendly style.
- Ditch the plastic and paper
Forget the single-use disposable stuff and opt for reusable, recycled plastic dishes, cups and utensils. If you just can’t stand the idea of all those dishes, opt instead for biodegradable picnic ware.
- Go local
Get your produce from your local farmer’s market, or farm stand. Keep your travel plans light and find activities within walking or biking distance. A big bonus – you’ll have an easier time getting home after the festivities are over!
- Keep it together
If you have to take a car to your destination, get a group together and carpool.
- Keep it simple
Go for reusable decorations you can store and keep for next year, or better yet, decorate with fresh flowers and colorful edibles and let your food be your decoration.
- Take it with you
Whether your picnic is in your back yard, or in a local park, create mini-recycling centers from old boxes, or plastic tubs. Clearly label them to keep things organized. Clean up will be a snap and you’ll already have your recyclables sorted.
- Grill smart
Take a few moments to brush up on some eco-friendly grilling ideas before touching off that charcoal.
- Group effort
Rather than set off a few fireworks in your own yard, gather a group of friends and family to go see a community fireworks display in your area. We know fireworks are not eco-friendly at all, but they are a big part of Independence Day festivities.
- Just say no to plastic water bottles
It’s a hot, thirsty day and plastic water bottles sure are convenient… But boy do they add up fast! If you’re away from home, opt instead for larger bottles, or a large beverage cooler, and have your family and friends refill their personal bottles and cups.