Have a red, white, blue (and green) Independence Day!

July 1, 2009 at 7:18 am Leave a comment

fireworksThe Issue

Green up your July 4 holiday! We’re not here to rain on your patriotic party, rather, to tell you it’s possible to celebrate green!

The Larger Issue

  • During this Independence Day weekend, Americans will light up over 60 million barbecues and roast about 150 million hot dogs and 890 million pounds of chicken and red meat!
  • A typical party of thirty guests can create 80 pounds of waste!
  • It’s estimated that Americans using their grills on July 4 will create the same amount of carbon dioxide as if 2,300 acres of forest were burnt.
  • Fireworks contain potassium perchlorate, which gets into the soil, air and water and causes damage to the thyroid gland. Other ingredients include heavy metals such as barium and copper, which are toxic.

Be Part of the Solution

How can I celebrate the holiday season in an environmentally friendly way?

  • For July 4 parties, use real plates, silverware and cloth napkins and stay away from paper napkins, disposable paper plates and plastic utensils. If you must use disposable plates, buy plates that are biodegradable. In fact, some disposable plates are made from corn, potato and sugar-cane pulp!
  • Throw a potluck party to share resources and carpool!
  • Prepare the meals and desserts with locally grown organic ingredients and free range grass fed meats and poultry!
  • Balance your meat dishes with more sustainable vegetable-based items!
  • Provide recycling bins for glass bottles, cans and plastic!
  • When BBQ-ing use natural gas grills as they pollute less than charcoal grills. To make matters worse, over charring meat produces toxic chemicals in the food itself!
  • Don’t shoot off polluting fireworks at home; rather go to one of the city sponsored events. Click here for a listing of the fireworks displays nearest you.
  • Not that the college condones drinking alcohol, but if you must, drink organic beer!
  • Try a natural insect repellent! Frequently reapply basic essential-oils like lavender, rosemary and cedar wood. These oils can trick insects into thinking you’re a plant.
  • If you must use a DEET based insect repellent, choose products with less than 20% DEET, never apply over cuts or wounds, never apply on infants, or use if you are taking any medications, don’t spray in enclosed areas and wash skin with soap and water after use.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and cloths or micro fiber rags to clean up after the party.



Entry filed under: eco-tips, st. petersburg college.

July 5th North Shore Clearwater Beach clean-up. Stop spraying dangerous chemicals on our lawns; there is a better way!

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who we are:

Early in 2008, St. Petersburg College recognized its responsibility to model to our students, employees and community ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the knowledge to our graduates to help achieve a more environmentally friendly future. Because of this, the College made sustainability (defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) a top priority. As a result, the Office for Sustainability was established.

what we do:

Working alongside internal and external partners, the Office for Sustainability focuses on the following areas of environmental stewardship: educational programs and corporate training, energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings and facilities, carbon emissions, recycling and student activities.

learn more:

To learn more about The Office for Sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at green.jason@spcollege.edu

sustainable | SPC

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