Going Green This Fourth of July

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June 26, 2013

Many of you are probably already planning your Fourth of July celebrations. Independence Day can be incredibly fun, but also extremely detrimental to the environment. The popular pyrotechnics of our celebration can contribute to acid rain and releases toxic chemicals into the air. Some of the chemicals found in fireworks are heavy metals, arsenic, and sulfur compounds.  Can you go green without sacrificing the celebration? Here are a few tips to keeping your environmental impact at a minimum.

Fireworks Displays

If you can ‘t imagine an Independence Day without fireworks, consider going to a large public fireworks display. You can still view all the spectacular fireworks, without contributing any extra pollution to the environment. These shows are typically much more elaborate than what you could put on at home, so you can enjoy a spectacular event without adding pollution to the evening air.

If you are set on firing off some of your own fireworks, consider items that are high in nitrogen. These may cost a little more, but are lower on the polluting spectrum. The less fireworks the better so consider making it a neighborhood affair or large party. Your energy expenditures will be down overall if you consolidate five small parties into one large party.


The Fourth is a huge grilling day. From hot dogs to hamburgers, Independence Day is the day to break out your grill, if you haven’t already. There are a number of ways to green up your grilling techniques. So follow these simple tips, and purchase as much sustainable and eco-friendly foods and serving items as possible.  Don’t forget to compost your leftovers when you are finished.


Break out the recycling containers. Waste from a party can be substantial so recycle all you can. This includes plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and glass bottles. If you are purchasing drinks or other items for your party, consider buying items with packaging made from a high percentage of recycled materials.

Keep Your Party Outdoors

Keeping energy consumption down for any large celebration is vital. The best way to do this is by hosting the party outdoors. Lighting and air conditioning can be real energy consumers during parties, especially if you are going in and out of the doors frequently. Therefore, keep the party outdoors and enjoy the weather and atmosphere.

These are just a few tips to keeping your Independence Day as eco-friendly as possible. Enjoy your celebration and consider adopting some of these green techniques.

photo credit: praline3001 via photopin cc

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