As we celebrate the Fourth of July and enjoy time with friends and family this week, it’s also important to keep the environment in mind. No matter how you choose to celebrate the holiday, there are a number of ways to stay green this Fourth. Keep some of these tips in mind:

  • Take the celebration outside to cut down on the use of your air-conditioning (and save money!).
  • Use reusable or biodegradable disposable utensils and plates. Also, use washable, reusable cloth napkins and tablecloths.
  • When cooking your food, choose food that is local and organic.
  • Use either eco-friendly charcoal or propane when grilling.
  • Instead of buying individual servings of beverages, use pitchers or large coolers for water, punch, and cocktails. Have reusable cups available for guests to fill up or encourage them to bring their own.
  • Avoid using plastic bags and opt for canvas tote bags or reusable grocery bags.
  • Encourage your guests to bike, use public transportation, or carpool to the celebration.
  • Head over to a nearby lake rather than taking a dip in a pool.
  • Make sure to pick up all of your waste and recycle or compost as much as possible.
  • If you like to wear festive clothing, turn old shirts into red, white, and blue gear by tie-dying them. 
  • Similarly, save your decorations so you can use them again next year, instead of buying new ones each year.
  • Instead of drenching yourself in DEET, use an eco-friendly bug spray or citronella candle.
  • If you’re setting off fireworks at home, find nitrogen-based fireworks instead of carbon-based fireworks. Or better yet, go check out one of the local displays.
  • If your celebration continues past dark, use solar lights to reduce electricity use.

Have a fun weekend and Happy Fourth of July! Don’t forget to head over to the Veteran’s Memorial at 10am for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.