This weekend will be the perfect time to gather with friends and family, eat good food, and enjoy all of the Fourth of July festivities. It also presents a lot of opportunities to show our nation that you care, by reducing waste and celebrating sustainably. As you prepare to celebrate, remember to, when possible, look for ways to use items already on hand, recycle what you can and eliminate food waste
Here are some easy tips for adding a little bit of green to your red, white, and blue plans:
- Opt for nature’s decorations – Instead of spending money on single-use decorations, consider fresh wildflowers or fruit displays. A plate full of red and blue fruits can double as a beautiful table centerpiece, and it gives your guests something to munch on! If you incorporate flowers into your décor, they are both compostable and make a great party favor for your guests to take home with them at the end of the night.
- Stick with reusable dinnerware – While plastic plates and cutlery can seem like the easy choice, remember that they aren’t accepted for recycling in Franklin County. Using reusable dinnerware prevents your trash from filling up with single-use plastics. Plus, having your guests eat off real plates is a great way to elevate a cookout!
- Make recycling and composting easy – Make sure that anywhere you have a trash can, there are recycling and composting bins right beside it. Any food scraps can be composted, and you can print and display this recycling sign to make sure your guests know that they can recycle glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic cups and more.
- Shop smarter, not harder – Before you head to the store and stock up on all of your cookout essentials, make a list of what you have on-hand at home to avoid duplicates which can lead to waste. You can also use the Guestimator – Save the Food tool to help determine how much food you’ll need in order to feed everyone on your guest list.
- Don’t be afraid of leftovers – After a long weekend, everyone needs something to take for lunch on their first day back at work. Have party leftovers? Pack them up and send each of your guests home with a hearty serving.
- Make scraps sweet again - Turn leftover strawberry tops into a simple syrup, teas and more. Check out these no waste uses for strawberry tops from the Farmers Almanac.
Celebrate sustainably and Happy Fourth of July, Franklin County!