Greening Your Fourth

Happy Fourth of July tomorrow!  We know lots of you are looking for ways to make your celebration more sustainable.  We looked at all the stories and here are the best suggestions.  

  1. Re-Use Decorations — It’s Christmas in July – take out those leftover paper red napkins and plates and use them now!  And think about a watermelon rind as a bowl and think about edible centerpieces as opposed to throw away paper decor.  Here’s a list of eco-friendly crafts from Crafting Green World.
  2. Avoid Charcoal Grills — If you can, use a gas or electric grill because they emit much less air pollution — an estimated 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide are emitted from charcoal grills.  And instead of meat, serve veggie or bean burgers to reduce your carbon footprint.
  3. Buy a Keg — If you are having a big party, ditch the bottles or cans of beer and get a keg.  And use paper or reusable plastic cups.
  4. Just Watch Fireworks — Personal fireworks are another big source of pollution on the Fourth.  Fireworks that fall to the ground contain propellant and colorant residue, which can make their way into lakes and rivers.  When buying fireworks, biodegradable fireworks are a great alternative!
  5. Use Reef-Safe Sunscreens — According to NPR, more than 3,500 sun protection products contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate, that are banned now in certain places because they bleach corals.

We hope you have a great Fourth of July holiday!

Up Next

New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.

Why This Matters:  The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands.  But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places.  And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.


Continue Reading 463 words
Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Qatar is one of the hottest places on Earth and its temperature increases are accelerrating.  As a result, The Washington Post explains how Qatar does the unthinkable — air conditions its public outdoor spaces, fueling the “vicious cycle” of burning fossil fuels that lead to greater warming.

Why This Matters:  If the global average temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, then Qatar’s average temperature will increase between 4 and 6 degrees, which would make work nearly impossible and the city could be uninhabitable.  Qatar may be able to cool certain areas for now, but it cannot cool the entire country indefinitely.

Continue Reading 440 words
Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Growth of Gas Guzzling SUVs Adding Massive Amount of CO2 Globally

Second only to electric power globally since 2010, sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales have spiked and they are now contributing hugely to the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  In addition, global fuel economy worsened caused in part by the rising SUV demand even as efficiency improvements in smaller cars saved over 2 million barrels a day and electric cars displaced less than 100,000 barrels a day.

Why This Matters:  This is a big double whammy on efforts to curb CO2 emissions and decrease the demand for fossil fuels for cars.

Continue Reading 411 words