People across the United States are gearing up to celebrate, and however you plan to celebrate the 4th of July, there are many ways to be a little “greener” with your festivities.
We’re focusing on plastics in this post because of the “Plastic-Free July” movement that began in Australia and is now spreading across the world. People around the globe are taking a pledge to reduce or eliminate their usage of disposable plastics for the entire month of July, in hopes of picking up new, eco-friendly habits.
While single-use plastics are featured at many summer parties, they have a serious and long-term effect on our environment. The average plastic shopping bag is used for 12 minutes and then spends over 500 years in a landfill before decomposing. That’s a long time for something we don’t need to be taking up valuable space in our landfills!
This 4th of July we’re bringing you three simple ways to show your appreciation for our country this holiday by reducing your plastic usage and protecting our great outdoor spaces!
Whether you’re shopping for your 4th of July groceries or attending a get-together with friends, try ditching the single-use disposable items like plastic grocery bags, disposable silverware, and plastic plates/cups. It takes less than five minutes to throw together a reusable bag with your own cup or mug, fork, spoon, and knife, and a plate. If you want to push yourself to avoid even more waste, bring along a cloth napkin!
2. Skip the balloons
It may be tempting to buy every single piece of patriotic décor and party supplies at the store, but we encourage you to take a moment to consider the potential long-term impact of your party supplies. Balloons, while fun, tend to fly away and take hundreds of years (if not more) to degrade in our environment and present a risk to wildlife who may get stuck in the balloon ribbons or accidentally ingest the balloon itself when they mistake it for food. If you’ve already purchased party supplies and decorations, be sure to attach them securely and dispose of them properly when you’re done!
3. Leave no trace
While you’re outside enjoying the beautiful weather and festivities with friends and family, make sure you have a plan to clean up any trash or party supplies after you’re done. You can even have a net-positive impact on your community by having an impromptu trash pick-up/ clean-up in the location before or during your party!
We hope you can take these three simple tips and integrate them seamlessly into your 4th of July festivities! Keep an eye out for more #plasticfreejuly tips on our social media throughout the month. Have a wonderful holiday, and Live Green!
***Did you try out any of our suggestions? Tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #sustainablecyclones to be featured on our social media pages!