11 Easy ways to celebrate an eco-friendly Fourth of July

Holidays mean family, friends, fun, and well…typically a lot of waste. But it doesn’t have be that way! Below are 11 easy changes to add some green into your red white and blue celebration. Let’s break it down.

ATTIRE

  1. Looking for the perfect July 4th outfit? (Aren’t we all?) Save some money and help the planet by shopping second hand. Head over to a local thrift store or shop online at stores like swap.com or thredup.com for some Red White and Blue duds! Here’s my Zero Waste 4th of July look:

Jess in her zero waste 4th of July attire (dress from a local thrift store, belt/headband made from repurposed fabric). Photo by: Justin Dalaba.

Jess in her zero waste 4th of July attire (dress from a local thrift store, belt/headband made from repurposed fabric). Photo by: Justin Dalaba.

FOOD

2. In my experience, 4th of July has always meant barbecues! Which brings on a big question, charcoal or propane? Studies show charcoal grills emit 3X more Carbon Dioxide (yikes) than propane. Switching to propane will help decrease your carbon footprint during this celebration.

3. More Cluck, Less Moo. Switching from beef to poultry cuts down on on carbon emissions by a whopping 48%! But don’t forget your fruits and veggies (which have even lower CO2 emissions!).

4. Ditch the “Hostess with the Most-ess” title and trade it in for the mindset of “Less is more”. Studies show abut 40% of food is wasted in the United States. Buying LESS will help decrease the amount thrown away.

5. If you still have food after the party is over, send your guests home with leftovers! Instead of giving out single use plates or containers, give a second life to your old yogurt and take out containers for those leftovers and encourage your guest to wash and reuse them too. 

6. Still have some food left behind? No problem! Composting that food will put nutrients back in the ground and keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

7. Say goodbye to single use plates, plastic utensils, and solo cups. If you don’t have enough silverware, cups, or plates, ask guests to bring some along for more zero waste fun.

8. Rinse and Recycle your cans, bottles, and other recyclables! Be sure they’re clean before putting them in the blue bin because recycling facilitates only accept clean items (they get thrown out and contaminate other items otherwise).

DECORATIONS

8. Save and Reuse old decorations. Reduce, REUSE, Recycle. The second R of the three R’s is commonly ignored or forgotten. You only have to buy decorations one time. Put them in a box and save them to use next year. You save money with this trick too.

9. Turn trash to treasure! Use old materials lying around to make your own decorations. Here are plenty of great options for kids or adults!

Fireworks

10. Instead of buying your own fireworks, go see a big show in your area. It’s safer and fun for the whole family.

TRAVEL

11. Ditch the car and soak up some Vitamin C! Vehicles account for 20% of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Here are some fun alternate ways to get around, reducing your impact.

  • Walk

  • Bike

  • Roller Blade

  • Skateboard

  • Scooter

Be sure to get outside and make the most of your July 4th celebration, Photo by: Justin Dalaba.

Be sure to get outside and make the most of your July 4th celebration, Photo by: Justin Dalaba.

Happy Celebrating!!

Jess