Green Up Your Red, White & Blue Holiday
The Fourth of July means barbecues, popsicles, family and fireworks! You’ll probably find all of these while celebrating America this Fourth of July. While we’re all out enjoying our freedom this long weekend, it’s important to keep in mind ways to take care of this land we’re lucky enough to call home. We’ve put together a list of easy-to-follow tips and tricks for taking part in a sustainable Independence Day.
- Apply a natural sunscreen
When you and the kids head outside this weekend to the beach, pool parties or backyard barbecues, don’t forget to protect your skin. We suggest opting for a clean, natural skin protecting lotion that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin or pollute the environment. Natural options help keep those harsh chemicals out of the water supply, too! Take a look at some of the sunscreens that meet the EWG’s ingredient criteria.
- Use compostable plates and cutlery
If you’re hosting a party or offering to provide the plates and utensils, leave the paper plates and plasticware at the store. You can find biodegradable packs of these party staples with just a quick search on Amazon. This way you can feel good about not contributing to landfill waste with all that extra plastic.
Bring your own cup! While we’re on the topic of serving ware, this is the perfect time to encourage guests to bring their own beverages. Rather than providing individual water bottles or plastic single-use cups, you can fill large drink dispensers with a variety of drinks for guests to fill their own glasses. Of course, when it comes to booze, not everything can be served from a pitcher, so make sure you have a designated recycling area for all those cans. And for the kiddos, Uncle Matt’s No Sugar Added Lemonade Juice Boxes are a great option, and they’re recyclable too!
- Serve organic dishes
When it comes to the side dishes you’ll likely have accompanying whatever’s cooking up on the grill, make sure they’re organic! Fruit and veggie trays can easily be served using all organic ingredients. You can also ask that any of your guests who contribute to the potluck of platters also bring an organic dish. This way you keep the buffet table free of toxic chemical pesticides.
- Re-use your décor
It’s easy to be influenced by all the red, white and blue that lines the store shelves this time of year. But if you’ve hosted a Fourth of July gathering in the past, you probably already have quite a few things in this color scheme that you can use again. Plus, if you’re only using these items once a year, your guests probably won’t remember what you used to decorate the tables last year. If you do buy a couple new flags and ribbons, make sure they’re something you’re planning to use again and again.
- Shop your closet for red, white and blue
Yes, that American flag shirt is adorable, but do you realllly need it? Try to stick to buying clothes that have more than a single-use purpose. Luckily red, white and blue are pretty common colors to incorporate into your regular wardrobe. Before you buy something new that you’ll only wear on the Fourth, try to put together an outfit from items already in your closet. If you must go shopping, check out a local thrift store first.
- Go watch fireworks
It’s no surprise that fireworks aren’t the most planet-friendly festivity. They’ve earned a prominent place though for celebrating the Fourth of July, so rather than boycotting fireworks, you can still do your part to contribute to less pollution. Consider attending a fireworks show rather than putting on your own display. Better yet, look for shows close by that you can walk to in your neighborhood or at a local park so you don’t have to drive there.