This weekend is the Independence Day holiday– and that means we’ll be lighting up the BBQ, consuming beverages, throwing out paper plates and generally wasting resources while we enjoy ourselves. So we’ve come up with a list of easy things you can do to lower the environmental impact of this fun, important holiday. It’s Independence Day, the Eco Way!
1. Light that BBQ with Propane. Wood and charcoal may seem like more natural fuel sources, but propane burns cleaner. You’ll have less smoke and less of a challenge keeping a fire going. Make sure that you refill or recycle your propane tank once it’s empty.
2. Use reusable plates and cups– or use recycled and/or biodegradable ones. Think of all of the millions of plastic and paper plates and cups being tossed out this weekend! It’s scary. You can really help out by either using sturdy, reusable plastic-ware and washing it after use. Or you can get compostable and biodegradable tableware that are great and will make an interesting conversation point for your event!
3. Put out a clearly-labeled recycling bin next to the trash basket. Make it clear to people that “this is the bin for your cans, bottles, plastic cups, etc.” If you make it easy for people, they will do it. And you won’t have to sort stuff at the end of the party!
4. Use tap water rather than bottled water. We know it’s hot, and bottled water is easy, but just fill some big pitchers up with water for people. You’ll cut your plastic use in a big way.
5. Skip the at-home fireworks. Naturally something that explodes, creates lots of light and leaves a cloud of smoke also comes with pollution. Fireworks also release heavy metals like lead into the air. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
6. If you’re planning to go to the beach, know the condition of the beach before you go. Check out Beaches911.com to learn about the health conditions of the beach, any beach closures, and also eco-smart boating tips.
7. If you are taking a road trip of any kind, make sure to maximize your gas mileage. You could either rent a hybrid if you don’t have one– or make sure your tires are well-inflated, keep the AC as low as possible, and follow these tips for how to green your road trip.