8 Tips to Celebrate Sustainably this Fourth of July
Guest post: Mary Sticklen and Kaitlin Burt – Sustainability interns
The Fourth of July is a great day to celebrate our country by cooking out and watching fireworks. Unfortunately, some of our traditional ways of celebrating can have negative impacts on the environment. So here are some tips that will help you to add some green into your red, white, and blue celebrations!
Tip 1: Buy Local
As you plan for your barbeques make sure to try and source your beef locally and buy your produce and breads at local farmer’s markets. There are farmer’s markets you can still visit before the Fourth (Findlay Market (8am-2pm), Lebanon (3pm-7pm), Madeira (3:30pm-7pm), and Mt. Washington (3pm-7pm). Or check out the locally supplied and organic products at your nearest grocery store.
Tip 2: Ditch Plastic Dishes
While you are feasting this fourth, make sure to use your glassware or buy biodegradable dishware instead of buying plastic or Styrofoam. Biodegradable dishware is not much more expensive than its plastic counterparts and the environmental difference is significant. Biodegradable dishware only takes a few months to degrade in landfills, while plastic can take hundreds of years!
Tip 3: Carpool
The Fourth is a great to time catch up with friends and family. To save money and help the planet carpool to your events and parties.
Tip 4: Reuse Your Cup
If you’re having a big party, opt for serving drinks in large pitchers rather than serving drinks in cans and bottles, which can pile up fast. If you do use plastic cups when serving, make sure to write everyone’s name on them so you only have to use one. Also don’t forget to bring your own reusable water bottle!
Tip 5: Use Propane
One way you can make your cookout greener is to use propane to grill the food rather than charcoal. Charcoal grills produce almost three times the amount of greenhouse gases as propane. If propane is not an option, charcoal briquettes made from scrapwood are the most environmentally friendly.
Tip 6: Compost and Recycle
Being diligent about your food waste and recyclables is another easy way to be green. If possible compost all your food waste after the party and make sure to recycle any cans or bottles.
Tip 7: Watch Fireworks with Friends
Fireworks are an integral Fourth of July tradition, however they are not the most environmentally friendly. Instead of setting off your own fireworks, bring your friends to a local firework event rather than setting off your own. Firework events in the Cincinnati include:
If you are setting off your own fireworks make sure to buy fireworks that are high in nitrogen because they release less smoke into the environment.
Tip 8: Enjoy the Outdoors
The best way to appreciate the outdoors is to go out and enjoy it. Have fun with your friends and family and enjoy the fresh air!