Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Celebrate the Fourth of July!

Ah, Fourth of July, that much-awaited long weekend! Do you have big plans? A trip to the beach? Camping? Staying home in front of the air conditioner?

However you're celebrating America's independence this weekend, don't forget to display your red, white, blue and GREEN!

Having a gathering? When you decorate, skip the PVC and vinyl dollar store that won't last three hours. Use items you have already, or decorate with other eco-friendly decorations. Tables can be covered with brown kraft paper. Use red, white and blue construction paper or patriotic paper decorations. The paper can be recycled once the party is over (unless it's covered in food or drink spills, then that will have to be thrown away). Save anything that's still in good shape once the party is over, and use them again for future parties.

If you're looking at paper or styrofoam plates, STOP! Melamine plates can be a good, inexpensive, reusable alternative, but be careful not to microwave them or let them get too hot! If you don't want to wash dishes, look for sustainable or biodegradable disposable dinnerware, made from bamboo or other plant-based materials, like bagasse. Susty Party is my jam for eco-friendly party supplies, so check them out. They sell everything separately, but they also have seasonal and color-themed party packs that make your shopping go much faster. Their packs are super cute and include everything from plates and bowls to napkins and straws. Yes, eco-friendly straws. Yes, think about your straws being sustainable!

When it comes to the food, shop local! From meat to veggies, you can find much of what you'll need for that backyard cookout. Hit up the farmer's market on Saturday morning, or shop at a locally owned grocery store and choose the local selections.

Limit your use of aluminum foil and plastic wrap as much as possible, since they are less sustainable.Use baking sheets or grill racks and reusable, covered food containers instead.

Place clearly marked recycling bins in the kitchen and on the back deck, and especially next to the food. Make signs with accepted recycling items and tape them to the bins. Make sure everyone throws their beer cans or bottles in the recycling bin instead of the trash!

Using plastic cups for drinks? Rinse them out and toss them into the recycling bin! Or go for reusable plastic cups instead, throwing them into the dishwasher at the end of the night (or the next judging here!)

Sigh, fireworks. Not eco-friendly, recyclable or sustainable. If you do light them, pick up the litter when you're done. Don't leave the remnants in the grass or the street, where they can get run over by a lawnmower or swept into a storm drain (pop quiz, where does storm drain runoff end up??)

Even if you're not throwing a big shindig, you can still go green. Shop local, recycle, and don't litter! Keep your drinks cold with a reusable bottle or mug.

 If you are traveling, make sure your vehicle's tires are properly inflated for better fuel efficiency.

Hope you all have a very happy Fourth of July weekend! Kick your feet up and drink a cold one. It's for our country's birthday, after all.


Anonymous said...

I was just flipping through a magazine and saw these and instantly thought of you! How cute would these be for a July 4 picnic or barbecue? They also come in red :)

Caitlin said...

Those are really cute!! Thanks for sharing. :)

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