Take Action: 4th of July
Andie Filler '18, Sustainability Intern for Curriculum Development
Sixty-four percent of Americans will attend a cookout or barbecue and over 150 million hot dogs will be consumed nationwide. Check out these tips to make your 4th of July celebration more sustainable and hassle-free!
REDUCE paper waste and stress by sending out party invitations online using services such as Evite or by creating an event via Facebook or Google Calendar. Not only do these online services save you from papercuts, but they also allow guests to RSVP instantly and see who else is going! You can also reduce the energy costs of cooling and lighting by hosting activities outside. Classic games like cornhole and horseshoes will get guests engaged and on their feet. Check out these festive stars and stripes lanterns made from biodegradable rice paper - a safer and more environmentally-friendly alternative to fireworks!
REUSE sticks and flowers from your very own backyard and arrange them artfully in a mason jar to create sustainable centerpieces! Or, use potted plants and herbs as decorations that partygoers can take home with them after the celebration. Another great idea is to put out a few markers and encourage guests to write their names on their cups. This way there will be no confusion between drinks, and people will be more likely to reuse their original cup instead of grabbing a new one!
Purchase recyclable dishware and ask guests to put waste in its appropriate bin. It is important to educate guests about what items they can and cannot RECYCLE. Better yet, consider purchasing dishware from the company Susty Party that makes non-toxic compostable party supplies from sustainably harvested materials. In addition to environmental sustainability, this company also incorporates social justice into their mission by employing visually-impaired individuals. Check out their 4th of July party supplies here. Finally, consider turning your celebration into a zero-waste event by encouraging guests to bring their own plates and utensils - the most sustainable and affordable option of all!
Americans waste 27% of consumable food at dinner parties. RESPECT others with limited access to food by putting leftovers to good use. Send guests home with reusable containers of leftover food - a delicious party favor! If you plan on hosting a larger scale event, consider utilizing a food rescue service. Such services deliver leftover food from your house to local food banks and homeless shelters while it’s still safe to eat. Food Runners is a Bay Area nonprofit organization that has been transporting excess food for the past 29 years!
No matter what tips you implement in your own celebration, just remember that even small actions that promote sustainability can have a large impact!