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Eco-Friendly Tips For A Fun Fourth of July
Eco-Friendly Tips For A Fun Fourth of July Image

The Fourth of July marks one of the favorite American holidays of the year. It’s typically filled with barbeques, beach hangouts, cookouts, parades, and other activities to celebrate the day. These fun activities, unfortunately, tend to increase waste and have a negative impact on our environment. While this year’s celebrations will look different due to COVID-19 restrictions and recommendations to limit large social gatherings, it is still important to consider there are a number of ways to enjoy the holiday while being eco-friendly. Here are some ideas: 

  1. Say no to charcoal grills
    • Fourth of July isn’t complete without a good old fashioned barbeque made on the grill. Unfortunately, grilling contributes to a significant amount of carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere every day. If possible, use propane, gas, or electric grills instead of charcoal grills. By using any of these three options, you are helping to limit air pollution from carbon emissions. 
  2. Go green with disposables
    • Disposables such as cups, utensils, and plates tend to be convenient during parties and other get-togethers. Right now, during COVID-19, they are also recommended as part of CDC guidelines in order to limit the disease spread. Unfortunately, single-use plastic disposables are not always the best choice for our environment so we encourage you to look into eco-friendly options that are made from materials such as bamboo and cornstarch. 
  3. Hydrate responsibly
    • Holiday celebrations usually include a lot of plastic use from bottles, for example. In place of using plastic bottles, why not use refillable water containers, and remind guests to bring reusable bottles that can be refilled. If you end up having to use plastic bottles, be sure to recycle these afterward and not throw them in the trash.
  4. Be a mindful buyer
    • On your upcoming grocery store run in preparation for the holiday, remember to buy only what you need. This includes decorations, supplies, and even food. That way, excess leftovers do not go to waste. 
  5. Reuse your decorations
    • Keep your decorations simple and eco-friendly by reusing ones from previous years. You can get extra creative and instead of having decorations, you can ask everyone you are celebrating with to wear Fourth of July’s red, white, and blue colors. If you end up buying new decorations this year, don’t forget to save them for next year. Remember: the less we buy, the less we keep out of landfills. 
  6. Limit fireworks
    • Did you know that fireworks cause extreme air pollution in the short amount of time that they are set off? In fact, they release dangerous toxins and chemicals, tiny metal particles, and smoke. They pose a major fire hazard and can lead to burns, injuries, and in some cases, fatalities. This Fourth of July, consider not setting off your own fireworks and do your part to keep our yourself safe and our atmosphere clean.  
    • Additionally, please note that fireworks are illegal in several cities across our county so check your city’s website for more information about laws regarding firework use.

From us at the Los Angeles Stormwater Program, we wish you a Happy and eco-friendly Fourth of July filled with enjoyable activities with your loved ones. Whatever you do, please keep CDC recommendations in mind by having your mask on and maintaining an appropriate distance of six feet when out and about. Have more ideas about how to have a green holiday? Let us know at lastormwater@lacity.org.


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