Celebrating the Red, White & Blue in a Lovely Shade of Green


Celebrating the Red, White & Blue in a Lovely Shade of Green

by Amy Lignor


It’s almost time… The weekend comes where we all get together with friends, watch an exhilarating show of lights and sounds, and salute the flag as we celebrate the fact that we are honored to be Americans.
July 4th, Independence Day, America the beautiful, reduce carbon footprint, choose wisely, green livingBut with the 4th of July comes a reminder; the fact that we can continue to keep (and do a better job at keeping) America “the beautiful” by protecting this land and doing our part, no matter how small it is, to reduce our carbon footprint.


Yes, this can be done in all areas on July 4th, from the food to the plates and cups to those amazing fireworks. There are traditions that can cause harm to the environment, but not if these traditions are “updated” just a tad. Beginning right away with those firecrackers, it is important to be well aware that there types on the market that contain carcinogenic or hormone-disrupting substances that end up seeping into both soil and water resources. In addition, the smoke they release can emit harsh chemicals in the atmosphere that will seep into your lungs, while plastic debris is scattered all around when the fireworks are shot off into the sky.

Although a new “smokeless” firework is not yet sold in America, there is a more eco-friendly firework that can be purchased. These are nitrogen-based poppers instead of the harsh, carbon-based ones…so look around and make sure to get the best choice. In addition, there are stunning shows that do not use fireworks at all. Instead, they put on a massive laser light show that is just as spectacular to see. In the end, if you must sick with tradition and see those very real fireworks, go to a public display instead of setting them off in your own backyard. Not only will you save time, and not anger your neighbors, but you will also eliminate making your own carbon footprint.


On to the food. Getting that B-B-Que going is something many families can’t wait to do; cooking up those hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone to enjoy. But how about exploring some even tastier ideas for the b-b-q that will allow you to have fun at the grill, but be more eco-friendly? Use some of those scrumptious veggies out there at your local farmer’s market and cut back on that meat. In addition, use all-natural charcoal for the grill.


If not wanting to cook at home and wishing to picnic instead, pick a spot close to public transportation or along a greenway. Make delicious foods that are easily transportable, and use those local ingredients in your recipes. And whether at home or on the road, make sure reusable plates and utensils are with you. A brand new, very cool idea is also on the market from a tableware company called, Loliware. Here you can buy disposable cups that are biodegradable and edible. Yup. You read it right. Finish your drink and eat the delicious cup you drank it out of. Talk about cutting down on major waste that comes from having plastic cups at your picnic or party. And…they’re a lot of fun.


Speaking of outdoor fun, make sure to dump that bonfire idea finally. This is not a time-honored tradition, guys and gals – a bonfire is basically a neighborhood nuisance where carbon monoxide and dioxins are released into the air making it bad for your lungs, as well as bad for the planet in general. Try something way more fun, like getting out the horseshoes or badminton net. And remember….football is not only for the fall months. You can definitely break out the pigskin for a backyard July 4th game!


Biggest thing to think about? Travel. If closing up the house and going somewhere else to enjoy and celebrate the holiday weekend, start by choosing the most earth-friendly transportation possible to get you there. Getting on the bus is the most friendly when it comes to not releasing emissions into the atmosphere. Taking the car and hitting the highways, as well as flying those friendly skies add way more chemicals to the planet. If not wanting a bus ride or perhaps wanting more adventure, the train is the second best way to travel.


Choose wisely as you enjoy this amazing holiday. You can even pick up a recycled flag to display on the side of the house. Make sure the red, white and blue is visible, as you take the time to add that lovely shade of green to all the festivities!


Source:  Baret News

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