The Low Down On Green Living
June 30th, 2008
Written by Trey Granger, courtesy of Earth911.org
The Fourth of July: summer’s most famous holiday. Fireworks, barbecues and a day off to enjoy the sunshine. But can you make America’s birthday Earth Day as well? Here’s eight steps for an eco-friendly Fourth.
1. Celebrate Outdoors
Whether you’re traveling for the three-day weekend (the Fourth is on Friday this year) or celebrating at home with family, have an outdoor celebration to minimize energy use. Better yet, check out a large gathering nearby where your personal energy use will be negligible.
2. Drink Lots of Water . . . In Large Containers
Depending on where you live, temperatures could reach triple digits on Independence Day. It’s important to stay hydrated, but plan ahead. Buy a reusable container to fill with water for your family so you won’t be buying and disposing of individual water bottles. You can also refill these containers at drinking fountains.
3. Know Before You Go
The beach may be a popular spot for your Independence Day getaway, but make sure it’s open before you head out. Use Earth 911’s sister site Beaches911.com to monitor the beach closures in your area. This will save you gas on a potential drive down the coast just to picnic in the parking lot.
4. BBQ With Propane
Wood and charcoal may seem like more natural fuel sources, but propane burns cleaner. You’ll get less smoke and you’ll have less of a challenge keeping a fire going. Make sure that you refill or recycle your propane tank once it’s empty using Earth 911.
5. Reuse Plates and Cups
If you’re celebrating at home, just use normal tableware and napkins that can be washed. At an outside celebration, pack up your disposable cups and plates and rinse them off when you get home. You can use the same set again next year, or recycle them.
6. Eco-Friendly Fireworks
Naturally something that explodes, creates lots of light and leaves a cloud of smoke also comes with pollution. Fireworks also release heavy metals like lead into the air. Of course, a Fourth of July without fireworks seems unnatural, but if you do put on a backyard show look for fireworks rich in nitrogen. These may cost a little more, but you’ll have less smoke.
7. Be Pet Cautious
Believe it or not, dog and cat ears are not made for the loud noises of fireworks. If your pets hear these noises, they might go running off. Then you’ll be using unnecessary paper for lost flyers.
If you live near a fireworks show, make sure your pets are shielded from the sound. If you lose a pet this July 4, visit Earth 911’s sister site PETS911.com to help find it.
8. July 5 is Cleanup Day
Independence Day events will produce lots of trash, much of which could probably be recycled. Head over to a nearby area this Saturday that held a July 4th celebration and pick-up some of the inevitable litter.
This story is part of Earth 911’s “Green Eight” series, where we showcase eight ways to green your life in various areas. Click here to see Earth 911’s “Green Eight” archive.
Popularity: 1% [?]