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How to have a sustainable Fourth of July

Backyard grilling, picnics at the local park, and, fireworks are all beloved Fourth of July traditions. However, many of them aren’t good for the planet. Here are some easy eco-friendly alternatives to incorporate at your Fourth of July party. 

Vegetables on the grill.

Grilling and Food 

When it comes to grills, charcoal grills are the least eco-friendly option. Propane and gas grills produce fewer carbon emissions, but the most sustainable alternative is an electric grill connected to a renewable power source. Electric grills are cheap, accessible, and, carbon neutral. Electric grills are the perfect addition to your sustainable get-together. Read here for some of our favorite sustainable summer recipes.  

Decorations and Accessories 

When decorating for July 4th, avoid using single-use, plastic balloons. Instead, opt for decorations that are recyclable or biodegradable, such as sustainably sourced paper balloons, biodegradable confetti, and recycled party streamers.  

July 4th picnic.

Picnic Equipment 

When preparing for your cookout, don’t buy plastic items such as Red Solo cups and plastic utensils. Paper cups, cardboard dishware, and biodegradable forks and knives are all sustainable alternatives that are easy to find in most retailers. An even better option is reusable dishware you already have at home! For coolers, we suggest using one you can find at a thrift store or coolers made out of biodegradable materials. When filling with ice, opt for using ice out of your ice maker so you don’t have to buy packs wrapped in plastic. For picnic baskets, a sustainable and Instagram-able option is a thrifted basket or one made out of sustainable materials like bamboo. And don’t forget your reusable napkins or ones made out of recycled materials!  

Recreational Activities 

After having a picnic, perhaps you’ll be in the mood for some baseball? Opt for a vegan leather baseball glove or a thrifted leather glove. We also suggest vegan baseballs, instead of traditional ones made out of leather and wool. Like leather gloves, you can also try to find some secondhand. Pick up a wooden baseball bat and you’re ready to play ball! If baseball’s not your favorite sport, throw a frisbee made out of 100% recycled plastic, or kick around a vegan soccer ball 

Person holds a sparkler.


Fireworks and sparklers leave a costly footprint on the environment. Fireworks are known for producing at least 2,000 metric tons of air pollution into the atmosphere and sparklers cannot be recycled. What can you use instead of fireworks and sparklers? A rising trend is a drone light show. Hundreds and thousands of drones with powerful LED lights attached to them fly up into the air and form into colorful shapes and images. While drone light shows are much rarer than fireworks, it’s possible to have one in your local town or city! Many companies offer services to host drone light shows for a variety of events, including holidays. You can organize petitions for any nearby cities or municipalities to gain public support and eventually make a nearby light show a reality! In the meantime, instead of having your own fireworks show in your backyard, you can attend a local community fireworks show with your friends and family.  


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