Happy 241st birthday America! Today, we celebrate the country’s independence with friends, food and fireworks. Like most celebrations, lots of waste is created. Here are some tips to make your 4th of July celebration a little more eco-friendly.
Ditch The Disposable
Are you hosting a party this year? We understand doing dishes can super inconvenient, but you can really help the environment by skipping the plastic tableware. Use real silverware and dishes. If you must use plasticware, consider washing them, to reuse at your next gathering. Don’t have enough plates? No problem. Add a “bring your own plate” theme to your party.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently did a study that shows the fine particulate matters (also known as particle pollution which is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets that get into the air) is at its highest level on the evening of 4th of July and the days following. Therefore, lessening your impact with fireworks is crucial.
Our first suggestion would be to check out a community show, rather than putting on your own display. This negates you from harming the environment with your personal show. However, if this is not an option, buy fireworks that are rich in nitrogen. They are more expensive, but they release much less smoke than normal fireworks.
Finally, clean up fireworks as soon as possible. The longer they sit on the ground the more likely chemical dust and ash can blow away.
Choose propane over charcoal. According to The New York Times, “We get most lump charcoal from cutting down mesquite trees, and in addition to the deforestation effect, it takes more fuel to produce and transport charcoal than it does propane.” If that’s not enough to convince you, according to the Environment Impact Assessment Review, charcoal creates a carbon footprint three times larger than propane.
Save Your decorations
Whether you are attending a party, or hosting, we suggest saving the decorations and reusing them the following year. The theme of 4th of July (red, white and blue, freedom, independence, etc.) is never going to the change. Therefore, any decorations you use will never go out of trend. Not to mention, you will save money next year!