5 Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Fourth of July (and Canada Day)

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Image by Joel Mann

Fourth of July (and Canada Day) are almost upon us. Millions of people will be enjoying their weekend by spending some time at local parks, beaches, lakes and even enjoying the great outdoors found right in their own backyards. BBQing and grilling are both a Fourth of July and Canada Day past time and for many people ending the night with their own personal fireworks show is a given.

So before you head out for your weekend, here are a few eco-friendly tips to help you enjoy Canada Day or the Fourth of July even more:

1) Fresh fruits and vegetables: Summer is here and there is nothing quite like fresh fruits and vegetables on a hot summer day. This Lime Avocado Quinoa Salad recipe is one of my new favorites! Now, unless you’ve been growing your own for awhile, getting fresh produce from your local growers or Farmers’ Markets is the way to go. And if you plan on grilling, here is a video with some simple tips:

2) BBQ: Now, when it comes to barbecuing, the debate has gone back and forth as to which is the greener way to BBQ, gas or charcoal. While it boils down to a choice of taste for many, here is a video with some smart green tips should you choose to BBQ this weekend (or any weekend).

3) Picnics and partyware: If you plan to have a picnic or party this weekend, whether it be in the park or the backyard, your choice of dinnerware is key. Of course opting for reusable items rather than paper plates and plasticware is the best way to go. You can even ask guests to bring their own dinnerware. That way after the party, everyone can bring their items home to wash and reuse. If you do intend to supply plates, cups, forks, etc. take a look at this video for a few tips that may help you have a greener picnic:

4) Leave no trace: No matter where you decide to celebrate your Fourth of July or Canada Day weekend, if you are going to spend some time outdoors, be sure you do so responsibly. Leave no trace. Protecting nature is something we all need to do. In order to protect and preserve it for the next generation or even the next visitor, it is key that you leave no trace that you were even there. Here is a video with tips to help you do that:

5) Fireworks: If you must incorporate fireworks into your holiday weekend, attend a local fireworks show (and encourage them to switch to eco-friendly fireworks). However, be sure you stay upwind from the celebration so you don’t end up inhaling the smoke from the fireworks. Smoke from fireworks is harmful to health, especially for people who have asthma or other health problems. Don’t bother setting off your own fireworks (even if they are legal in your state). Besides the smoke you could inhale, fireworks can be dangerous and could easily spark damaging fires.

If you have young children or pets, a safer option would be to watch a televised fireworks show from the comfort of your own home. For those of you who love fireworks shows, here is last year’s Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show to tide you over:

But however you choose to enjoy your Fourth of July or Canada Day, please remember there are choices you can make which will allow you to enjoy your time while still being a friend to the environment. I’d love to hear what eco-friendly tips you are incorporating into your holiday weekend! May each of you have a safe, fun and biofriendly time!

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