10 Great Ways To A Greener 4th Of July
Everybody loves the 4th of July! Many people are off of work and planning parties or a day at the lake. But did you know that the 4th of July is one of America’s most wasteful days of the year. All of the plastic, empty bottles, burning coals for barbeque, or even the over consumption of food products, contributes to bad environmental practices. But, don’t be alarmed! I have compiled 10 very helpful ideas to make this 4th of July the greenest ever.
1) So, everyone hates to do dishes after a party, right? In fact at almost every outside party that I have been to, I have used at least one form of plastic or paper product, whether it be flatware, dishes, etc. This is simply a terrible waste. For one, most of these are not biodegradable products they also cannot be reused more than a few times without breaking down. So use your dishware and flatware. A good thing to do is to have guest empty there food into a bag for compost and fill a plastic bin with water and dish detergent so that they can place them in to soak when they are finished. This will save time when cleaning up after.
2) Another thing to do with dishes is drinking cups, because they are typically glass it is a little harder to risk them being broken at a party. I would suggest getting a good set of plastic cups that can be reused at other parties. Make decorative labels, with the names of your guest so that the guests don’t continue to get new ones. This can be a fun prep project for children as well.
3) Bottles, bottles, bottles! Not to point a finger, but at most barbecues and outside parties, beer is typically involved. Whether cans or glass, these can stack up quickly. So I have 2 different ways to go about this. Option one is to get a keg, and no these are not only for frat parties! Having a keg will eliminate glass and metal wastes products. They can simply use the labeled plastic cups as described in number 2. Another way is to set up a glass and aluminum recycling bin. When guest are done with there beverage, they can recycle them. So all you will have to do is drop them off at your local recycling center. Not only is this green, but you can actually make a few extra bucks.
4) Napkins are always over used at parties! I would suggest purchasing some linen napkins for parties. Set up a bin so that you can wash and store them for your next event. I would suggest white so that they can be bleached, because they tend to get messy.
5) Burning coals is a terrible pollutant for the air, and if you can imagine just 20% of Americans using coal to cook outside all on the same day, that makes for a tremendous impact on the ozone layer. If you have a combination grill, just use natural gas that day, this not only cuts down on carbon emissions, but it also makes clean up much easier!
6) Boom, yes that ever exciting sound that fireworks make. What, now I can’t have fireworks?!! Of course you can, although no firework is completely environmentally friendly, you can buy fireworks that are greener, just ask your sales person to point you in the direction of the higher nitrogen based fireworks. These are more expensive, but make less smoke, and they tend to have brighter illuminations than fireworks with less nitrogen.
7) Have the party outdoors and limit the access to rooms in your house by closing doors and allowing only one entrance for your guests. Post a sign on the door that says please close behind you. This will allow you to save on power, and will help to decrease your expected electricity bill post party.
8) When it begins to get dark and it is firework time, make a fire and turn off lights in the house. This sets the mood for fun camp fire times and it will save on your power bill. Yes I know it is a fire, but remember fires are natural and wasting energy on heating or air conditioning is actually worse for the environment. So, get some marshmallows, hot dogs, and sticks and have a ball! This is also a great way to keep the children interested!
9) Buy organic meats and veggies to serve. You will be surprised at the sales that you can
find at local farmers markets on organic veggies so just shop around. Believe it or not the carbon emissions that come from pesticides and meat production are insane. If you just use this special day to buy organic food products you are really helping out the environment, and at the same time providing you guest with healthy options to eat.
10) Finally, my biggest suggestion, Box Your Décor!!! You can use all of your decorations next year, cause the 4th of July theme never changes! This will also save you money next year!
Well there you have it, follow these suggestions and you are on your way to hosting the best 4th of July party your friends and family have been too. Have fun staying green, and always be safe. Happy 4th of July Everyone!
Pro Tip: Download our Ultimate Carpet Cleaning Guide for helpful tips and solutions for after party clean up!