Red, White, & Blue...and Green
Whether you prefer to call it Independence Day, the Fourth of July, just another Thursday, we want to give you the ability to make greener choices and help you educate those around you.
Friends, family, fireworks, and fsustainability, the four F’s of one of my favorite F words...Fourth of July! I can almost smell the hot dogs cooking, the sunscreen being lathered on by parents, and the chlorine of a backyard pool. My imagination goes right to one of my favorite movies, Sandlot 2, where they play America’s Pastime under the flashes of fireworks and my memory takes me to my grandfather’s river house on the Rappahannock River in Tappahannock, Virginia--clearly whoever named those was pretty lazy. But memories and imagination are about my past 4th of July experiences and this blog is about the future 4th of July experiences and to ensure it is a celebration my children and grandchildren can continue to celebrate.
No action is too small!
When it comes to helping the ocean pollution problem and you, the reader, no matter where you are located can do something about it. If you’re a farmer in the Midwest, you are just as important as the beachgoers of coastal cities and towns and your July 4th celebration is no different.
Depending on where you live, the legality of fireworks varies. Here is a link to a website managed by the American Pyrotechnics Association that will help you determine if that M-80 your buddy wants to buy is legal, or if you are better off with the sparklers. With the legality out of the way, if you do decide to have fireworks of any type ensure that all packaging, wicks, and other discarded pieces are picked up. It may seem tedious, but many fireworks contain plastic packaging or casing that will be released when the fireworks detonate. Its these little pieces of plastic that can easily trickle into streams and sewers and pollute waterways. Secondly, take a page out of Smokey Bear’s playbook and be careful where you choose to ignite your fireworks. All it takes is one spark onto dead brush and you have a forest fire.
Once you’ve got your fireworks covered, you can worry about the party itself. While red, white, and blue are our country’s flag colors, those well-known red plastic cups don’t count. Single-use plastics like red cups, plastic utensils, and straws are public enemy #1. A trick my family uses for big gatherings is to use normal utensils and plates and put a large bowl of soapy water on a table to help with the washing process. That way everyone can just set their used things in the soapy water to help with the cleaning process later. An added bonus is that usually, your day-to-day utensils are stronger than plastic forks and knives so even if Uncle Bill overcooks the steak you can still cut through it. Though we don’t have utensils, we do have our O&Co tumblers and straws that will help in this pursuit of a better cookout. Have a great celebration and remember the 4 F’s: friends, family, fireworks, and fsustainability!