Photo courtesy of EliJerma.
Guest Post by Jakob Barry:
The 4th of July is a great occasion for family and friends across the country to get together and celebrate Independence Day. At the same time whether it’s through cookouts, beach gatherings, or simply watching fire works we should always try to make it as healthy an event as possible.
After all, celebrating shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone’s well being.
That being the case if you’re planning on putting together a homemade bash, consider some of the following thoughts for making it a healthier 4th of July:
1. Hydrate: In most of the country Independence Day is usually warm if not down right hot. That means in order to stay hydrated its important to drink a lot of water. A good reminder to keep drinking and making sure others do too is by carrying a reusable water bottle wherever you go. The fact its reusable also makes it environmentally friendly.
2. Soda: Staying hydrated is one thing but sometimes we want other flavors with our meals and the only option is chemical based, sugar laced soda. If it’s bubbles you like purchase a soda water machine with natural flavorings to go with it. You’ll find it meets your cravings, you’ll rarely have to buy another disposable soda bottle again, and the machines usually don’t need electricity so they are completely green.
3. Food: When picking out meat for burgers or poultry for the grill try organic and free range brands. Also, instead of filling up on snacks with little nutritional value make a variety of salads for yourself and the guests. There’s no better time to get creative in the kitchen than now and when it comes to salads the options are unlimited.
4. Recycle: Although plastic doesn’t cause immediate harm to our health when we toss it in the trash it will eventually catch up with us through the environment. Try and recycle as much as possible setting up a recycling station off to the side by the garage door. Otherwise purchase biodegradable brands of tableware.
5. Shade: Being in the sun can be a lot of fun but the truth is we need to shield ourselves from its rays more than we think. Make extra shade by tying tarps or large fabrics between trees and the home to cover sitting and eating areas so there’s enough room for everyone. Those who want to catch some sun still can but having that protection is essential.
6. Repellent: When the sun starts to go down the mosquitoes will come out but instead of using regular bug sprays which contain chemicals such as DEET go with natural options. Some include eco-friendly mosquito coils, essential oils, citronella candles, or green minded store bought repellents.
7. Pesticide: Non-eco-friendly pesticide and herbicides contain poison which kills plant life and other organisms. If these substances were used on lawns or property near a gathering make sure the areas are cordoned off so kids and others planning to roll around in the grass have less of a chance of getting sick. After the 4th of July festivities are over check into more natural ways to solve the pest and weed problems.
8. Fire: Fire is a big part of Independence Day. Aside from general precautions when making a fire for a barbeque don’t toss materials like plastic in the hearth. Unlike wood and paper it transforms into harmful fumes when consumed and are a hazard to breathe. Furthermore, stay clear of any fireworks not only because their explosive nature is dangerous but the fumes they leave are also unhealthy to inhale.