Explosives. Plastic cups. Barbecues. Hot dogs. Independence Day can be a dazzling carnival of guilty pleasures, especially for a concerned environmentalist.

However, with the help of Grist’s friendly neighborhood advice columnist (hey, that’s me!), you can declare independence from trashing the planet with an ease that would make your foremothers proud. Wake up tomorrow with a little less guilt (and a very patriotic hangover):

  • The Fourth of July can get pretty smoky with all the barbecues and bonfires, so consider festive yet greener alternatives like stargazing parties or even glow-in-the-dark dances.
  • The liquor: Nothing’s perfect, but I’ve got a list of what’s best to drink — out of a non-plastic container, of course.
  • It’s 2017, people! The Fourth of July need not be a meaty affair….