As you, your family and your friends prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we wanted to give you some simple ways to green your 4th of July celebrations. These steps aren’t difficult. They don’t require a lot of money, but they will help you be a little more biofriendly when it comes to your celebratory activities.
1. Get Outdoors
This one is kind of a no-brainer. I mean, it is summer-time, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get outdoors. If you hold your 4th of July celebrations outside, like in the backyard, at a local park, at the beach, at a campground, or wherever else you see fit, you won’t have to worry about spending money on A/C, indoor electricity and other energy-consumption during the course of the party. You’ll also get lots of fresh air and you’ll be out in nature. A win-win.
NOTE: If you go to a public place for a picnic or camping, be sure to leave no trace you were there. You want others to be able to enjoy the same beauty you found in nature.
2. Choose Reusable Instead of Disposable
Although picnics and BBQs have traditionally been times when people use paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups and straws, it’s time to change that. Not only is it Plastic Free July, but you should be choosing reusable instead of disposable anyway. It’s what’s best for the environment.
Offer a beverage station where guests can fill up their glass or other reusable cups with the drink of their choice. You can have iced tea, lemonade, fruit or vegetable flavored waters, cocktails and more. If you want to provide straws, opt for glass, stainless steel, bamboo or biodegradable. Doing this cuts down on quite a bit of plastic and other waste. It is also much more eco-friendly.
3. Plan a Potluck BBQ Rather Than a Catered Meal
One of the benefits of planning a potluck is everyone brings a dish they like, or they know others will like, then each person takes their leftovers home so less food gets wasted.
When you do a catered meal, a lot of food generally gets put out on the tables for people to eat and not all of it gets eaten. Where do you think the leftovers go? Most of the time, the leftovers go in the trash. Such a waste.
If you can figure out a way for the leftovers to go home with guests, or be donated to a local shelter, then fine. If not, we strongly recommend a potluck BBQ. Besides, with a potluck BBQ, you’ll get a lot of delicious dishes you probably wouldn’t have made or ordered yourself.
4. Get Creative With Your Decorations
Instead of going out and buying decorations for the 4th of July, get creative. Try re-using or re-purposing decorations from other holidays. For example, you can reuse white or red Christmas lights, you can re-purpose blue decorations from Easter, red hearts from Valentine’s Day and more.
Take an old wreath and add some ribbons and bows made from old shirts or napkins so it becomes red, white and blue. Take a few crates and toss red or blue towels on top to make a seating area.
Decorate tables with flowers from the garden or fruit from the Farmers’ Market. You can even make your food the focus/centerpiece of your tables. If you want more decorations, ask your guests to bring some of their own decorations from years past or simply have them wear red, white and blue to add more color to the party. The creative options are limitless.
With just these 4 simple steps, your 4th of July celebrations can be more green and biofriendly. Have a safe and happy holiday!