Be green while you celebrate the red, white, and blue with these tips for an eco-friendly Fourth:
—Use dishware, not paper plates, to serve guests. It may require some extra cleanup for you, but you'll save trees and keep garbage out of landfills.
—For picnics, try a reusable sandwich wrap, rather than plastic wrap.
—Go to a community fireworks show, rather than buying your own. Big fireworks displays are getting greener and eliminating some of the most hazardous chemicals.
— Cook with charcoal rather than propane. Since charcoal comes from wood and not fossil fuels, it's greener than gas. For a truly green barbecue, omit the red meat and try some veggie burgers instead (Practically a sacrilege on the Fourth, I know. But red meat is one of the biggest food contributors to climate change).
—Buy your veggies at a farmers' market. Put your leftovers in a compost pile.
—Get a cone with sprinkles on it from a locally owned ice-cream shop—if the ice cream is made in-house, there are no food miles for your treat to travel. A cone is more ecofriendly than a cup.
—Mineral sunscreen doesn't contain chemicals that bleach coral reefs.
—An eco-friendly way to eat corn on the cob can be found in your backyard.
—Try one of these organic beers, ice cold by the pool.