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Red, White, Blue…and Green? 7 Ways to Celebrate the Fourth Sustainably This Year

We’ve officially made it to July — marking the start of the hottest month of the year, according to

With Independence Day, otherwise known as the Fourth of July, just around the corner, American citizens across the country will soon recognize the day — almost 248 years ago — that the United States separated from England, forming 13 colonies of its own.

And every year since, the Fourth of July has boasted patriotic celebrations across the nation — from block parties and parades to picnics by the pool and trips to the shore. In fact, the American Automobile Association estimated just last year that 50.7 million people would be traveling 50-plus miles over the holiday weekend.

No matter what your plans are for the upcoming holiday — red, white, and blue shouldn’t be the only colors that are top of mind.

7 Ways to Go Greener This Independence Day

Avoid Single Use Plastics

  • The Fourth of July typically means pool parties and picnics galore; we recognize that the urge to purchase and set out plastic cutlery, paper plates, and throw-away party cups is real. However, these types of single-use plastics can take up to 1,000 years to decompose — so if you must use disposable utensils and table settings, explore products that are made from recycled or biodegradable materials.


Attend a Community Fireworks Show

  • While fireworks shows are a trademark of the holiday, they don’t do wonders for the environment. Consider reducing your impact by attending a local community display instead of putting on a show during a backyard party. 



Recycle During (and After) the Party

  • Encourage your guests to recycle their empty cans, bottles, and other relevant waste, when possible.



Shop for Local & Seasonal Foods

  • One of the best parts of any holiday? The food, of course! Shopping locally not only supports small farmers and vendors, but it also reduces the number of miles that your food has traveled before landing on your table.



Stay Mindful of Energy Consumption

  • If you’re the one responsible for hosting the celebration, there’s probably a lot going on at your home: appliances in-use, lights turned on in several rooms, etc. Especially if (and when) the party extends into the evening, installing LED lights are a great option for saving energy – and costs – over time.


Minimize Food Waste

  • Who doesn’t love leftovers, anyway? But for the most accuracy, confirm with potential guests in advance to determine how much food will need to be bought and prepared.


Consider Carpooling

  1. If your Fourth of July weekend involves traveling, consider carpooling to your destination. Out of the over 50 million Americans who were anticipated to be traveling over last year’s holiday, AAA expected that 43.2 million would be traveling via car. Carpooling encourages not only fewer greenhouse gas emissions, but lower gas costs.



SOURCES: AAA, Airly, American Automobile Association,,