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