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A Green 4th of July
Independence Day is a holiday that celebrates our existence as a country. This is an important day for any of us proud to be American. It is also a fun summer holiday that includes the best of the outdoors including the wonderful display of lights in the sky followed by large booms. But when it comes to planning these types of celebrations it often comes with a price that hurts our environment and for those of us who are ecofriendly it can put a damper on our day.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There are simple tips that will allow you celebrate full force without causing more harm at your hands. We cannot control what others do, but we can change the things we do. By gathering up as many people as you can to celebrate your way you are also changing the way in which they celebrate. A big party gone green sounds like a blast to me.
Use propane when grilling. There has long been a debate on which type of barbecue tastes better; propane or charcoal. You may have guests who go for taste over the environment any day. But this is your party and the thought of using 3 times as much CO2 by a charcoal based barbecue just doesn’t taste near as sweet.
Likewise, look for healthier options when planning your desserts. You are probably aware of the toxins that come with food that is not organic or vegan . This may be a stretch for all of your guests, but it is nice to have the option for those who are health and environmentally conscious.
One of the highlights of the day/night will be the firework display. If you are planning on putting on your own firework display, how about taking up a collection and going in as a group? Tell your friends and family that you will supply the fireworks and come up with a feasible amount for each of them to throw in. This way you can make sure that everything you buy fireworks that are rich in nitrogen. These are a bit more expensive but put off less smoke.
Of course, no one wants to do dishes after feeding dozens of people, but get over it and think of the greater good. Don’t use paper products. Use real dishes and plates, or at the very least plastic reusable dishes. For whatever you may have that produces waste, make sure you add a recycling bin to your outdoor activities. This should be used for soda cans and things of the sort.
Instead of investing in cases of water bottles, think about one large water container and reusable water bottles or glasses. Sure carrying around a water bottle is convenient but beggars can’t be choosers. Your guest will use what you have and at the end of the day, they aren’t going to judge you by the water, holidays are about good times with great people. The company is much more important.
No holiday is complete without a gift. No the 4th of July isn’t one of those days in which gifts are expected, but it is a great way to make your guest feel welcomed and more likely to return next year. We ordered a 4th of July berries gift basket in red, white and blue that was definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Remember, no celebration has to come at the cost of our environment. There are simple ways to stay green no matter what the occasion. Be a role model for those around you and you may end up seeing the same trends at the next party you attend.