The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and SLCgreen staff have a few tips for residents who want to make their celebrations a little greener.
- Use durable goods instead of disposable. Please, just say “no” to disposable plates, cups and utensils. Instead, bring out the readily available dishes from your very own kitchen! Sure, they require more cleanup, but you’ll be saving money and reducing waste. If you need to use disposables:
- Take some advice from Durable versus Disposable Guide (PDF).
- Consider reusing disposable goods for another summer get-together to reduce your impact.
- Please note that compostable plates and utensils are currently not accepted through Salt Lake City’s Curbside Compost Program (i.e. your tan can), so steer clear.
- Provide drinks in large dispensers. It’s going to be a steamy Fourth of July this year, but instead of offering bottled water (and all of the plastic waste that comes along with it), put out drink dispensers that can be used to fill up your guests reusable water bottles or recyclable cups. This concept can also apply to any other beverages offered at your celebration – fewer bottles means less waste!
- Skip the personal fireworks. A controversial suggestion, we know. But the air pollution from fireworks can be tough on our valley’s air quality. Even sparklers have high concentrations of air pollution (read the scientific study). Consider air-friendly decorations that can be stored and reused next year instead. Need inspiration? The Daily Green has some great ideas.
- Choose air-friendly transportation. Can you bike or walk to your 4th of July celebration, or your yearly neighborhood fireworks show? Many homes in Salt Lake City offer a nice view from the convenience of your very own roof! We suggest that you skip the headache of parking and help reduce air pollution on a holiday that is especially prone to it. At the very least – carpool!
- Use a gas grill instead of charcoal. Propane gas grills heat up faster and have a whole lot less polluting emissions than charcoal grills. Read on to learn more at Earth911.com.
- Recycle, of course! When the party is over, be sure to recycle plastics, cardboard, cans and glass in the appropriate containers. Salt Lake City residents can put most recyclable materials into their blue curbside bin, and residents that subscribe to curbside glass service have an easy way to get the job done. Glass dropoff sites are also located throughout Salt Lake City.
The Daily Green has a very comprehensive Fourth of July Green Guide available on their website. We particularly love:
While you are there, also take a look at their Declare Your Independence piece.