Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Many of you will be busy with parades, parties, and fireworks. It is completely understandable that you may bend your rules when you are getting ready for friends and family to visit, or maybe you are taking a trip. However, just like dieting, you’ll regret that you fell off the wagon when the holiday is over. Below are some ideas to help you green your 4th of July.
Part of watching fireworks includes everyone enjoying their own sparklers. While there isn’t a great way around the sparkler trash, you can be sure to recycle packing, pick up the used sparkers (after they are cool), and use a fire starter instead of matches.
If you are hosting a party, shop at your local farmer’s market for produce, flowers, and baked goods. If you aren’t buying too much, you can also walk, or pull a wagon along to help carry your purchases. Let your guests know that you won’t be providing bottled water, but that they are welcome to bring their refillable water bottles. If you are a host that insists on providing gifts, why not provide the refillable water bottles? This is great way to promote your sustainable lifestyle. If you can, use real dishes and silverware. If not, make sure to either recycle or choose biodegradable options.
I love parades, and so do my kids. Where else do you get candy thrown at you? But, they can leave behind a huge mess! If your children insist on eating candy at the parade make sure to collect their trash. I always carry a small reusable bag with me for trash and recycling. After the parade is over, encourage your kids to pick up other items as you walk back to your vehicle.
One of my concerns as a mother is which sunscreen to use for my children. While I wish I could just keep them in hats and long-sleeves and pants constantly, that is not an option, but I don’t want to put anything on them that will contribute to health concerns down the road. Luckily, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a guide just for sunscreens. It is also available in a mobile app. Love it!
Water is my weak spot and where I let my green guard down. I may be part fish. While I try my best to use lake, rivers, and ponds for water fun, sprinklers, baby pools, and water balloons are fun too. So try to reduce my water waste by using a small baby pool that doesn’t need to be filled up with very much water, or using a sprinkler that limits the output of water, and choosing water balloons that are biodegradable.
We are beyond thankful for our independence and the great nation that we live in, now we just need to take care of it so we can enjoy it for many more celebrations!
Here is to a happy and safe 4th of July!