Happy Independence Day!
Here at the Watershed Council, we’re each doing our part to make this national holiday a little greener, and there’s ways you can help too!
Buying locally grown foods can save the energy used to transport and package processed foods. Not only does this help minimize waste, but it keeps our local economy thriving! Consider buying larger commercially produced items, like potato chips. Get the big bag! Buying in bulk reduces the waste involved in the production and disposal of individually wrapped snacks.
Reduce picnic and party waste
When you can, use biodegradable or reusable dishes and flatware. There are a lot of great options for compostable single use plates, cups and even utensils.
Nix the straws!
On average, people in the USA use 500 million straws PER DAY. That’s enough to circle around the earth 2.5 times! Consider ditching the plastic straws entirely, or go for paper or a reusable metal straw. Read more about the environmental impacts of plastic straws.
Most outdoor grills are fueled by gas or charcoal. Which is better for the environment? While there is some debate here, scientists generally agree that gas grills are cleaner — and electric grills are even more efficient.
Fireworks have a strong impact on the environment. According to an article by the American Chemistry Society, “Fireworks, flares and other so-called ‘pyrotechnics’ traditionally have included potassium perchlorate as the oxidizer, a material that provides the oxygen that fireworks need to burn. Perchlorate, however, is an environmental pollutant with potential adverse effects on people and wildlife. Pyrotechnics contain other ingredients, such color-producing heavy metals, with a similar potential.”
Many places around the world are opting for greener solutions. Disneyland for example is beginning to use compressed air to launch their fireworks shows, and the fireworks display in Sydney, Australia is considered carbon neutral. If you’re going to use fireworks this year, check with your local fireworks dealer to see if they have perchlorate free fireworks, or enjoy a show that is already taking place, rather than buying your own.
Firework Safety Tips
- Remember to discharge fireworks safely
- Keep a bucket of water and charged hose nearby
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- Keep children and pets away from fireworks