Independence Day is a time to embrace your patriotic side by doing what Americans do best: having fun! Unfortunately, some of the best summer activities come with a hefty eco price tag. Here are a few ways to green your favorite Fourth of July pastimes, so you can have your fun while still being kind to the land you live on.
Fireworks, the quintessential Independence Day activity, can take a toll on both your health and the environment. There are nitrogen-based fireworks which are slightly less harmful on the environment but they’re costly. So what can you do? Go to a public display instead of setting up your own. Volunteer in your neighborhood to pick up debris the following day. Or send off wish lanterns that are 100% biodegradable.
If you’re planning a picnic, choose a picnic spot close to public transportation or one that you can walk or bike to. Bring reusable plates and utensils, and bring food with minimal packaging waste. If the area doesn’t have recycling bins, put empty cans and bottles back in the cooler or in a brown bag and toss them in your recycling bin when you get home.
Lastly, displaying the American flag is another time-honored tradition around July 4th, if not all year round! However, the law requires the flag to be illuminated at night, which uses additional energy. So only hang your flag from sunrise to sunset to avoid keeping a light on all night.
Have a great holiday and stay safe!