Independence Day is right around the corner, and with it comes barbecues, fireworks, and celebrations. But this year, take some extra steps to make your celebration greener. It can be as simple as changing how you cook, using reusable plates and cups, or purchasing greener fireworks. That’s right, even though explosives are not very environmentally friendly, there are some fireworks that are better for the environment.
If you’re hosting a party this year, there are several things to consider. If you still have decorations from last year’s 4th of July celebration, break them out. Decor doesn’t change much year to year, so it’s easy to reuse. Instead of having disposable dishes, use reusable plates, glasses, and silverware. This helps eliminate heavy amounts of waste. Having everyone bring food helps cut down on the workload, but having everyone bring a plate or glass for themselves can reduce waste too. It’s sort of a potluck of dishware. If you’d still prefer to use disposable dishware, there are biodegradable options.
If possible, do as much cooking as possible outside. With the high summer temps coming into full swing, the last thing you want to do is raise the temps inside your home and overwork your AC. Cooking outside ensures the cooking heat doesn’t add to your AC’s workload. When it comes to grilling, there are many different preferences when it comes to how to grill, namely coal or propane. Propane actually cooks faster and more efficiently than coal, but actual charcoal is renewable since it comes from wood. If you do use propane, check to see if a local retailer has a trade-in option where you can get a discount on more propane when you trade in your expended tank.
Instead of providing dozens of plastic water bottles and aluminum soda cans, use large containers for water and purchase larger bottles of soda. This will help cut down on the waste, but it’s also helpful to recycle what is leftover at the end too. Try to get larger groups of people to come together in a single vehicle to cut down on carbon emissions from people coming to your party. And when it comes to the fireworks, visiting a local, professional display means you won’t contribute to the smoke produced from setting off your own. If you do want to set off some fireworks, find some that are rich in nitrogen, as these will produce less smoke.
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