The 4th of July is a great time to declare your independence from landfill waste, pesticides, and foreign fuel sources while celebrating in eco-friendly style with your family and friends. Here are some tips and ideas for making your 4th of July celebration festive and eco-friendly:
1. Have a BYOB neighborhood block party.
Invite your neighbors and friends to a ‘Bring Your Own Bike’ party. Instead of driving gas guzzling SUV’s, have everyone decorate their bikes and ride them to your party. Give prizes for the ‘most eco-friendly’ decorated bike and the ‘most patriotic’ bike design. Award prizes for children and adults. Celebrate the holiday in grand style by having a neighborhood bike parade down your street. Don’t forget to bring the tots out in strollers. Invite parade spectators to waive the flag, or other eco-friendly streamers as your riders pass by.
2. Go on a ‘Fruits and Berry Happy 4th of July’ outing.
Grab your gang and car pool out to a local farm to pick all kinds of seasonal patriotic berries, like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Gather an assortment to be used as party decorations for your table, and to top off all of your Yankee Doodle desserts. Don’t forget the watermelon!
3. Host an eco-friendly BBQ.
Cut your lawn with a push mower or an electric mower so that your friends and family can smell your fresh cut grass. Serve veggie burgers or burgers made from grass fed organic beef. Expand your menu offerings with fresh corn on the cob, tomatoes, spinach, carrots, peaches, and other local favorites from your nearby farmer’s market. If your BBQ goes toward dusk or into the evening, have on hand DEET-free bug spray or patriotic citronella lanterns, available at many natural food stores. These handy, dandy lanterns are just the thing to chase away the skeeters and the no-see-ums, who might decide to crash your red, white, and blue extravaganza.
4. Host an organic beer and fruity drink tasting event.
If you want to raise a glass in honor of the 4th, consider stocking up on organic beer. Make apple or watermelon martinis and vodka watermelon for the ladies. For those patriots, who prefer non-alcoholic beverages; offer them a simple, yet tasty, 4th of July cooler which is a real thirst quencher. In a gallon pitcher combine, 2 parts purple grape juice to 1 part lemonade. This drink looks great in a punch bowl with an ice ring.
5. Have a beach blanket blowout.
If it’s too far to head to the beach, save the ozone, and host a beach party. Invite your guests to bring their beach blankets to spread out on your lawn. They will agree there is nothing which says, ‘Americana,’ more than old Frankie Valley/Annette Funicello, and Elvis beach movies projected onto an outdoor screen or your outdoor flat screen. When the time arrives, switch over to the Boston Pops, or watch the night sky to catch a glimpse of local fireworks displays in your area. End the evening by gathering around your fire pit to start a ‘sing along’ of your favorite patriotic songs such as, America the Beautiful, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless America, and I’m Proud to Be an American.
Our country has a proud heritage of independence, hard work, and family values. No matter how you decide to celebrate the 4th, encourage your family and friends to celebrate the earth at the same time by being eco conscious. So whatever you do, have an environmentally friendly, happy, 4th of July!
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