Now that the Fourth of July is just around the corner, Americans all across the country are getting ready for BBQs, fireworks, and flags!
However, amidst the holiday enthusiasm, we tend to overlook the environmentally damaging impacts of fireworks, food waste, and plastic disposables. Plus, July 4th also falls during the summer holidays, which means it will be one of the dozens of celebrations during the season.
With many celebrations taking place simultaneously, it's essential to remember how our festive activities may affect the surroundings.
Today, we'd like to emphasize a few major aspects to take into account when we are out and about with our celebrations- to motivate ourselves with some crucial eco-friendly practices so we can honor and celebrate the Declaration of Independence proudly for many years to come!
How do you celebrate the 4th Of July sustainably?
Here are 5 Tips for the Green Fourth Of July Celebration
- Ride The Bike
Experience the thrill of riding your bike to your destination this Fourth of July. It will help minimize traffic and reduce carbon emissions. If not the bike, the bus is also another great sustainable option, or even carpooling with friends and families. Many Americans travel to celebrate independence day— around 50 million people took to the road last year, which only means a massive generation of pollution and emissions. Biking, rideshare, carpooling, or taking public transportation whenever possible can help avoid repeating previous years' damaging habits. We can make this an eco-friendly Fourth of July by curbing the carbon footprint of our transportation.
- Avoid Single-Use Plastics
Bring biodegradable or reusable cutlery and cups, and anything else that can be substituted for plastic to the party. Go for large gallons of water containers over individual bottled water cases. Instead of purchasing new decorations, make them from scratch. It is a fun activity and also better for the environment. Use flowers from the garden and colorful fruits to decorate the tables. While the things you can do to make the fourth of July celebration greener are endless, these are just some home party ideas to keep in mind as you plan, prepare, or purchase items for the holiday.
- Limit Fireworks
The anticipation of the highly awaited firework begins as the celebration advances into the evening, and late evening fades. Unfortunately, the extent to which fireworks can be harmful to the health and environment is significant. The beautiful colors illuminating the night sky can suppress our conscience from considering the chemical reactions of the firework show. The toxic smoke and gas released from fireworks trigger respiratory diseases. The leftover ashes end up in the oceans which endanger marine life. While eliminating fireworks completely can be difficult as they are a crucial 4th of July tradition, there are ways to enjoy this captivating imagery of light and color while minimizing the threats they pose.
- Buy Local Produce & Meat
Celebration meals are a real treat, from the clean and crisp flavors of fresh produce to the smokiness of grilled meat. And we bet the local farmer's markets have all you need to make the Fourth of July meals extra special for your family. Locally grown, nutritious alternatives are pretty much better and healthier for any occasion. So, whether you're serving an innovative recipe or a traditional fave, choose from the plentiful supply of fresh, locally grown produce in season. If you have a kitchen garden, you can also pick fresh produce from your own backyard. And while no fourth of July is complete without barbecues (which calls for hot dogs and burgers), getting your meat from local farms or sustainable butcher shops is not only better for health but the environment. The meat industry uses large amounts of energy, water, food, and chemicals. Buying local, pasture-raised meat will help lessen carbon impact and support local farmers and producers.
- Clean Up
Finally, when the party comes to an end and as friends and family get ready to leave, make sure the place is not a mess. Start cleaning up after yourself to leave the place even cleaner than it was before the party. To avoid litter during the party, you can also leave waste bins in the corners for guests to throw waste. Better yet, participate in community cleanups the next day. If there isn't one, you can always organize a cleanup and gather people to join. One person may not bridge the entire gap, but when the positive mindset spreads to the general populace, that's when the transformation happens!
What are you going to do this year to make your Fourth of July celebrations as rewarding and ecologically sound as possible?