2012 Tips for an Eco Friendly Fourth of July
The rockets red glare and barbeque madness makes Independence day one of the most exciting and celebrated holidays of the year. My girlfriends and I usually plan a month in advance to dress up in DIY American flag outfits and attend an annual party that never dissapoints. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to the big night while simultaneously looking at ways in which the festivities can commence in a more eco-conscious manner.
The traditional American thing to do on this day is to host or attend a barbeque with your crazy friends and family. Parties begin in the mid afternoon and are usually stocked with a variety of drinks, food, music, and sparklers. With all the extra meat that will be purchased, trash produced from partiers, and toxins released from fireworks and sparklers, there is a lot of potential damage that can be done to the environment. There are several ways around attributing to the waste and pollution without sacrificing fun this year.
Fireworks and Sparklers
As the Mother Nature Network said “what goes up must come down”. This includes all of the potential toxins found fireworks such cadmium, barium, copper, and strontium among others. Usually public firework shows take place over lakes and/or bays to minimize the risk of fires but scientists are only beginning to understand what kind of impacts they can have on soil, water, and human health. As colorful arrays of synchronized explosions hypnotize onlookers, it is also polluting the air with particulates and aluminum. My advice to you would be not to add to the toxins in the air by purchasing rockets, artillery, or other illegal fireworks with your friends but to take part in a public show for free. No need to feel guilty when attending these shows because fireworks displays are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Ditch the wasteful throw-aways
Taking paper plates and plastic forks out of the equation eliminates a ton of trash from the situation. Stocking up on lightweight easy to wash dishware is an option. You can also get themed colors to make it more festive!
The overall footprint between charcoal and propane is not small by any means. Both have their downsides but there is evidence according to environmental reviews that propane is the more eco friendly way to barbeque. According to a study by Environment Impact Assesment Review
“the overwhelming factors are that as a fuel, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production and considerably more efficient in cooking
This might seem like a no brainer but reusing decorations is a great way to minimize waste. It will probably take some extra time to carefully wrap up those red, white, and blue streamers but you will be glad you did next year when you don’t have to buy any more or you can always loan them to a friend if you don’t plan to host a party this year.
I also recommend checking out all the different kinds of decor they have on etsy. Look at these amazingly unique decorations by Shannon.
Offer Food for the Herbivore Guests
Not everyone enjoys a hearty bacon burger so be sure to offer plenty of fresh fruit and snacks that don’t require cooking to minimize your energy output. Homemade popsicles are a great idea since it is usually fairly hot on July 4th.
Don’t forget to pass the information along to your family and friends and remember this doesn’t have to be a destructive day for mother earth but can be fun and guilt-free if you follow just a few simply guidelines!
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