1THING: Eco-Friendly Ways to Celebrate July 4

How to lessen your footprint while celebrating the Fourth

The 4th of July is a summery and inviting holiday filled with friends, family, good food… and lots of waste. While things like fireworks can be stunning, they have huge environmental consequences that leave their impact long after the finale. 

To help you celebrate mother nature while you celebrate the USA, we’re providing some tips on how to take part in some environmentally-friendly festivities! 

1. Ditch the styrofoam and plastic 

While providing disposable plastic utensils, plates, and water bottles is convenient, it’s extremely wasteful. Hosting picnics and barbeques with real plates is not only better for the environment, but it’s an easy way to make your gatherings super classy. Opt to serve food on those special occasion plates every household seems to have, but never actually uses (guilty!). 

2. Avoid the backyard fireworks 

Fireworks are a tradition that we don’t expect the US to give up any time soon. The stunning displays are a great way to close out the night, but studies have shown that air pollution doubles on the night of the July 4. 

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3. Introduce more veggies 

Animal agriculture is one of the least sustainable aspects of our current lives. We love the tradition of barbequing, but meat and dairy products cause significant harm to the environment. Adding in more grilled vegetables and providing vegan options is a great way to keep the tradition going while easing the environmental impact, and even making your cookout a little healthier! 

4. Use DIY and reusable decorations 

Set up for your party with eco-friendly decorations. Make your own decorations out of construction paper, streamers, and whatever items you have sitting around the house. If recycling things you already have won’t work, purchase decorations with reusability in mind. When you’re cleaning up after your party, save the decorations and use them again next year!