How to Have a Green Fourth of July

From fireworks to food, be green this weekend.

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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.