Summer is in full swing and it is time once again for the biggest party of the year, the fourth of July. Here are some simple tips to have lots of fun while still preserving the planet.
Ditch the Disposables
It is always tempting to break out the paper plates and the bottled water for the summer holidays, but that convenience creates a lot of trash. Instead, opt for either glass or durable BPA free plastic that can be placed into the dishwasher and reused for next time. This prevents tons of extra trash from entering the landfills and keeps our local parks, beaches and waterways less trashy too.
Buy Locally Sourced and Organic Foods
When you buy locally grown food, you are supporting your local farmers and the economy. It also means that the food hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to reach your plate. When given the option, purchase organic or chemical free foods. Choosing these alternatives are free of pesticides, GMO’s, antibiotics and hormones. A healthy body is a happy body.
Choose Natural Bug Sprays
Many of the traditional bug sprays or repellents available contain several chemicals and one that gets a lot of press is known as DEET. According to the EPA, DEET is safe when used correctly and in concentrations of no more than 10-30%. If you prefer to leave the DEET behind, there are several products on the market which are DEET free, contain essential oils and are still very effective against repelling those pesky bugs. It is always a good idea to do your research to see what type of product is best suited for you and your family.
Keep It Clean
If you are packing up and traveling to your favorite park or beach this Fourth of July, remember to only leave behind your footprints and your carefully crafted sandcastles. When you see that the trash can is overflowing already, don’t contribute to the pile. Pack it up and take it with you to dispose of properly at home. Better yet, if you see trash where it doesn’t belong, pick it up and get it to its proper place. Natural areas are meant to be kept clean and pristine to prevent injury or harm to wildlife.
As the holiday fun continues into nightfall, light up your outdoor area with solar lanterns and lamps. Place them in the sunlight during the course of the day so they are fully charged and ready at dusk. Solar lamps and lanterns can be found at just about any home goods store in many different sizes, shapes and colors. This is an energy efficient and fairly inexpensive way to light up your next gathering. And, there are some pretty cool lanterns available that can be used for both light and decorative purposes.
Have fun, be creative, always practice safety and go green. Happy Birthday America!
Image credit: Ice Flow Studios