Green Fourth of July

Party like it’s 1776 — well, with a few upgrades — and go green for your Fourth of July celebration this year. We’ve made it simple for you. Here are six sustainable swaps to follow this Independence Day.

1. Think Recyclable, Not Disposable

Fourth of July and picnics go hand in hand. Picnics are an excellent way to enjoy nature with loved ones — I mean, what’s not to love about food combined with nature’s beauty? Unfortunately, most picnic “essentials” actually aren’t good for the environment at all. So instead of buying paper plates and plastic sporks, look for recyclable or reusable alternatives. Check out this list of green products for your outdoor feast.

If you’re partaking in adult beverages, make sure your container is recyclable. Glass bottles and aluminum cans are both great options. Some plastic bottles are recyclable as well — just check for the recycling symbol before you buy. Either way, you’re helping the planet by keeping trash away from the landfill. Good work!

Before you prepare your Fourth of July meal, be sure you’re grilling with the right fuel. A majority of outdoor grills these days are either fueled by gas or charcoal, so which is better for the environment? That answer gets a little knotty, but scientists generally agree that gas is the big winner — electric grills are more difficult to get your hands on, but are even more efficient. Grills fueled by gas or electricity burn much cleaner than charcoal and therefore have a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

If you’re in the market for a new barbecue, why not go even greener? Harness the energy of that blazing Fourth of July sun with a solar-powered grill! Due to the boom in solar-powered gadgets, these green appliances aren’t hard to find.

Ah, summertime. Time for family barbecues…