The 4th of July holiday means millions of people will be firing up the grill, setting off or just watching fireworks and of course, celebrate with everything red, white and blue.
But this year, you may want to add some green into the mix. While it may not sound patriotic, it could help us celebrate America’s Independence for even more decades to come.
To start, spend most of the day outdoors. By doing that, you will cut down on your electric usage because you won’t need to have the lights on or the air conditioner going at full blast.
Next, ditch the disposable plates and utensils. It may make it easy to clean up, but it is very tough on the environment. Instead, you will want to take the plates you serve dinner on in your home to where you are going, as well as the metal silverware. While it can be a pain to drag around, in the end, it will save space in the landfills and save you a few bucks on having to buy the disposable items.
When it comes to grilling, you have some eco-friendly options. If you want to stick with charcoal, there are some products that are made from recycled and scraped wood. Because charcoal does produce toxic fumes for the environment, you may want to think about propane. Did you know propane produces half of the emissions of charcoal?
Once the food is cooked and the meal is over, it is the dreaded clean-up time. As you always hear, reduce, reuse and recycle. Be sure to place bags or cans with signs telling people where to put their plastic, paper and cardboard items.
Finally, it is time to end the night with a bang. Of course, we are talking about fireworks! Because most fireworks are made using potassium perchlorate, which is a material that provides the oxygen the fireworks need to burn. Studies have shown that it can pollute the air and pose a health risk to people and wildlife. That is because it affects the iodine in the thyroid gland.
So what is the alternative?
Researchers have developed new pyrotechnic formulas that replace perchlorate with nitrogen-rich materials or nitrocellulose that burn cleaner and produce less smoke, according to an article in American Chemical Society weekly newsmagazine.
However, because there are no federal regulations on how much perchlorate is used, the cost of making an environmentally friendly brand can be costly and as a result, many fireworks manufactures are not making them.
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