That’s right; it’s time to have a green Independence Day! You can still celebrate red, white and blue in style, but what if you knew how important it was to live as eco-friendly as possible, especially on the holidays? The United States produces 70 percent of the world’s solid waste and 80 percent of the products used in the United States are used once and then thrown away. You can add a little green to July 4, a day filled with red, white and blue, with just a few of our eco-friendly tips.
Why Throw Away When You Can Reuse?
According to the Clean Air Council, Americans throw away enough plastic and paper dishes in one year to circle the equator 300 times. Not only do reusable materials save you money in the long run, but they also save you time that you would normally spend shopping for paper plates, plastic cups or plastic silverware. Your reusable dishes don’t have to be fancy or anything special, but just simple items that can be safely taken outdoors and easily washed and reused.
When it comes to reusing items, it is even more important to reuse the things that you use on a daily basis. In 2009, plastic bags were found to be the second-most common kind of waste found during the International Coastal Cleanup. Plastic bags are not biodegradable and they actually break down into smaller particles which contaminate the soil and water. With so many great styles of reusable bags, why bother with a cheap plastic bag that can easily tear and cause damage to the earth?
The Average American Tosses 209 To 254 Pounds Of Edible Food Each Year
If Americans wasted even as little as 5 percent less food, it would be enough to feed 4 million Americans. Fifteen percent less food waste could feed 25 million Americans annually. Uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills and accounts for nearly 25 percent of methane emissions in the United States.
According to this infographic about food waste in America, 33 percent of meat products are wasted, 25 percent of seafood, 20 percent of vegetables, 18 percent of grains, 17 percent of dairy products and 15 percent of fruit are wasted, which shows that we all need to make a change.
This Independence Day, don’t purchase more than you think you’ll use. Chances are, other people will be bringing food and sharing it, so there is no need to go overboard and risk throwing anything out at the end of the day. Even if you put leftovers in your refrigerator to eat later, chances are that you will probably forget about it and it will get thrown away later. If you do have leftovers, spread them out amongst guests and ask guests to bring a reusable container to take home any leftovers.
To reduce food waste, plan your meals ahead of time, put together a shopping list of the things you need, and don’t buy more than you know you will eat. If you have any foods that you may not eat before the expiration date, try to freeze them or donate them to a food bank, shelter, or soup kitchen.
Think About Supply And Demand
Remember that whatever you buy, the food industry thinks you need. Forty percent of food in the United States is never eaten because people are using buy one, get one free sales or buying in bulk but purchasing more food than they can eat.
This Independence Day, ask your guests ahead of time which food items they plan to bring and how much of it they are bringing. If you think you will have too much food, let them know so they can bring less. Tell them you would like to have as little leftovers as possible, and that you want all leftovers eaten at some point! You have the opportunity to set a great example during this year’s July holiday.
If you would like to make your red, white, and blue themed-event even greener, ask your guests to carpool with one another, or walk or bike ride to your event. In the United States, transportation is the largest single source of air pollution. If you live in an area that allows you to carpool or use public transportation on a daily basis, you may want to consider recycling your current vehicle and upgrading to an eco-friendly model, or ditching your vehicle all together. Many cities offer great methods of public transportation such as New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Recycle Your Vehicle
If you decide to recycle your vehicle, let Wheels For Wishes do it for you. Wheels For Wishes picks up most makes and models of vehicles, whether they run or not. Pick-up or towing is free and you also get a great tax deduction since earned proceeds from your recycled vehicle benefit Make-A-Wish and help to make wishes come true for local kids. Vehicle recycling is a win-win for all—it’s easy and convenient for you, it’s green and eco-friendly, and it helps to grant a wish for a local child.
To recycle a vehicle, please call 1-877-431-9474 or make your donation online. Celebrate Independence Day in style and bring a little green into the party!