Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Food, family and fireworks…what could be better? This year, my eco-conscious best friend from California is visiting for the fourth, and I can’t wait to show her the greener me!
Here are the great ways I've found to have greener Independence Day party:
• Shop local. Search Local Harvest to find home-grown produce and locally raised meat. In Lawrence, Kansas, I love to visit this great restaurant, Local Burger, that sells frozen veggie burgers and grass-fed buffalo burgers to grill at home. My best friend is a vegetarian, so she’ll be glad to have a delicious option of her own.
• Buying condiments? Opt for glass containers over plastic. Look for organic, high fructose corn syrup-free options, too.
• Make a fruit basket from a watermelon. If you need help creating the basket shape, check out this how-to video. My mom is an expert at these. She uses a melon baller for cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon to give the fruit basket a more whimsical look. Add blueberries, strawberries, grapes and pineapple for a colorful fruit salad.
This watermelon fruit basket has fun, scalloped edges. Photo by BeautifulCataya/Courtesy Flickr.
• Serve food on your everyday dishes instead of disposable dishes. Serve homemade punch and water from pitchers.
• Last year, I baked a batch of these Fourth of July-themed organic red velvet cupcakes, and they turned out great!
• Have your party outdoors at dusk so you can turn off your air conditioning.
• Light up the party with these festive soy candles in the nation’s colors.
Place white soy candles in red, white and blue candleholders for a fun, festive glow. Photo by emdot/Courtesy Flickr.
• Put flowers from your backyard into a vase, or buy a potted plant that you can use after the holiday. For an easy, beautiful centerpiece, fill a wooden bowl with water and float three soy tea candles and a few flowers on top.
• Provide natural sunscreen for your guests to use.
Just for Fun
• You don’t need electricity to enjoy music. Enlist your guitarist friend or family member to play some tunes, and sing along. These free patriotic song guitar tabs should come in handy. (Don’t forget to print on recycled paper!)
• Water fights are the epitome of summer fun. Try this from Martha Stewart using old sponges. Bonus: You don’t have to pick up shredded balloon pieces from your lawn!
• Skip the sparklers. Fireworks are not exactly eco-friendly, but you can reduce your footprint by heading to a local show instead of having your own.
Happy Independence Day! Photo by caruba/Courtesy Flickr.
Remember, the best kind of fun is free. The highlight of my Fourth of July last year was watching my boyfriend and his brother obliterate our dads in two-on-two basketball.
How are you celebrating Independence Day?