With the 4th of July just around the corner, millions of Americans across the country will celebrate the day with friends and family. Whether you’re hosting a barbeque, watching a fireworks display, or simply spending time with your loved ones, the 4th of July can be a time to relax and have some fun.
How do you enjoy holidays like Independence Day while leaving the smallest environmental footprint as possible?
There are many small, yet impactful ways to do both. We’ve created a guide with our favorite tips on how to have a greener, more sustainable, holiday. Read on for our Top 5 fav’s!
1. Skip the Paper and Plastic
Did you know? Americans toss out more than 60 million plastic bottles a day and it could take nearly 1,000 years for all of it to biodegrade. This 4th of July, leave the plastic at the store and use reusable cups and plates to serve your guests. Reusable cups and water pitchers are also a great alternative to plastic water bottles as well.
2. Barbeque Smarter
The typical charcoal briquettes directly burn carbon into the atmosphere, unfortunately. But, there are ways to barbeque smarter and cleaner (often these options make your food taste even better)! Charcoal briquette alternatives like coconut shells burn longer, and release less carbon into the atmosphere.
3. Make Your Own Frozen Treats at Home
Nothing beats the heat like a nice frozen treat; however, many pre-packaged popsicles and ice cream come with layers of sticky packaging that can’t be recycled. A fun, interactive alternative to store-bought desserts are homemade treats! You can make your own popsicles and frozen desserts at home with fruit juice, yogurt, and other ingredients that are probably in your fridge already.
4. Make it Easy for Your Guests to Recycle
If you’re hosting an Independence Day gathering, set out designated recycling bins for your guests so they can recycle their party waste. Things like aluminum cans, glass bottles, cardboard, and glass bottles can all be recycled, and you can even compost your leftover food. Remember, plastic utensils, cups, and plates are recyclable; however, paper plates are not since food residue sticks to them. Be sure to check the recycling guidelines in your local area for which items can be recycled, and which can’t.
5. Reuse and Repurpose Your Decorations
Just because the 4th of July is over doesn’t mean you have to toss your decorations. Save your decorations for your next party or give them new life by repurposing them. Many Independence Day decorations have basic color schemes and can be used throughout the year or for other special occasions like holidays and birthdays. Plastic products last a long time, and reusing and repurposing your decorations could save you money, while also protecting the environment.
The 4th of July is a pause taken each year to celebrate national pride and the rich history of America. It’s also about the promise of the future. With that in mind, we hope our tips provide simple ways to have fun while also making a positive impact on the environment for future generations. We wish you and your family a happy holiday!
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