How to Make this Fourth of July Eco-Friendly

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite times of the summer. Family members travel long distances to see each other, watermelon is in season and juicier than ever, and everyone is in a celebratory mood that seems to lift the heavy heat from your shoulders. Unfortunately, Fourth of July celebrations can also be extremely wasteful, as the barbecue is lit for hours and convenient disposable food ware takes center stage.

Here are some tips you can use this summer to make your Fourth of July celebratory and kind to the environment!

1.      Buy local, organic, and vegan. Make your food travel as small a distance as possible to your plate. Minimize your consumption of produce grown using deleterious pesticides and other chemicals that harm your health as well as the soil. Buying vegan is not only an innovative way to help the animals, but it also decreases the carbon footprint of your meal dramatically, as less resources, time, and distance is spent on bringing vegan ingredients to your table.

2.      Grill wisely. Although there is no way to grill without polluting, we can minimize our environmental impact by choosing electric or propane grills over charcoal grills. Research all the options of products that you can use in your grill, experimenting with the source of your coal and the type of lighter fluid you use.

3.      Ditch the disposable. Encourage your guests to bring their own utensils and dishes to minimize waste. If that proves to be inconvenient, use your own food ware and enlist the help of your guests in the cleanup process. Same goes for your decorations. If decorations are a must for setting the celebratory tone, save your decorations from year to year or think unconventionally and use items that are already around your house to decorate your abode without unnecessary consumption.

4.      Opt for community fireworks. Look for locations in your greater community that are hosting firework celebrations instead of discharging your own dangerous chemicals and smoke into our atmosphere. The Earth will thank you!

For more ideas on how to make your Fourth of July more considerate of our environment, check out these resources:

·       http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2015-4-july-august/green-life/5-ways-green-your-4th-july

·         http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/01/green-july-4th-eco-friendly_n_889055.html

·         http://earth911.com/home-garden/8-ways-to-green-4th-of-july/