Independence Day is pretty special holiday. It falls during the beautiful summer month of July, when spending time outdoors with food, family and friends is most enjoyable. It’s the perfect time to get away for a weekend adventure, host an outdoor party and get some R & R. Make this 4th of July just a little greener. No one likes a planet pooper!
- Ditch the plastic party gear: Just say no to petroleum-based, landfill-bound plastic cups, bottles, plates and utensils and serve your guests like a gracious green host—using real plates, silverware and glassware. Can’t bear the thought of washing all those dishes? Check out some great biodegradable and compostable picnic options. And instead of plastic water bottles to keep everyone hydrated, opt for a large water dispenser!
- Light up the sky the eco-way: Fireworks aren’t exactly planet-friendly (think acid rain & other nasty toxic residues), but thankfully there are some alternatives that sparkle just as bright! Take a look at these beautiful sky orbs, which are made from biodegradable and environmentally sound materials!
- Opt for local beers & organic wine: Nothing says summer BBQ like an ice cold beer, so why not find a brew that doesn’t have to travel a thousand miles (or overseas) before it can quench your thirst? Check your local markets for sip-worthy suds made locally. Consider bringing in a keg (as long as you stick with the real glassware mentioned in tip #1), you’ll save the energy it would take to recycle all those empty bottles and cans. Not a beer drinker? Try an organic wine made with organic grapes that aren’t sprayed with pesticides (they have a brighter flavor and fewer sulfites!).
- Lighten up the barbecue: If you’re like 80% of Americans, you’re firing up the coals on the biggest barbecue day of the year. Keep in mind there’s no such thing as a truly green grill (natural gas burns clean, but it’s still a fossil fuel; electric grills are the least polluting, but are powered by electricity that likely comes from burning coal), but you can opt for greener fare! Load up on local, organic and season fruits and veggies & go lightly on the meat (or choose a sustainable and humanely raised option)!
- Don’t forget to recycle & compost: In the U.S., we send over 96 billion pounds of food a year to our local landfills (!!!), which accounts for the largest human related source of methane (the greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide). Make sure you have recycling and compost bins that are easy to spot and clearly labeled for guests. If you’re unsure about recycling specific materials in your area, check out Earth911 to find local recycling centers for party waste.