Avoiding the crowds at a theme park or fireworks show and attending a backyard party is my favorite way to celebrate Independence Day. In the heat of summer and with the constant shuffle, its great to relax with friends.
If you're thinking of throwing a party at home for the 4th, here are a couple easy tips on how to keep it a little greener this year.
- Use Reusable Dishes: Your impulse is to buy paper plates, but using your own plates (and borrowing a few) will save money and reduce waste.
- Buy Organic: For the watermelon, strawberries and peaches you'll be serving with your BBQ, try to choose organic so it (and the earth) will be free of pesticides and chemicals. Don't forget to buy organic beer too (click HERE)
- Encourage Recycling: If you are serving drinks in cans or bottles, make sure a recycling bin is convenient so your guests can easily toss their empty containers into the bin.
- Go Big: Rather than buying individual packages of food or drinks, buy bigger bags and bottles that can be poured into bowls or pitchers. This way you reduce waste.
- Keep Guests Outside: Barring a thunderstorm or a heat wave, its best to keep your guests outside during your 4th of July party. Having people go in-and-out all day will waste air conditioning, thereby wasting electricity. Put up your own, or borrowed, umbrellas, covers, tents and fans to control the heat. When guests have to use the restroom, choose one for public use and keep the A/C vents on the path to that bathroom closed, while the doors to the other rooms are shut so no air conditioning can leak out.
- Avoid Fireworks: You can see the reasons why HERE. Instead, get noisemakers, pinatas, etc. or start a bonfire.