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Jul. 1, 2010
5 Super Simple Ways to Stay Eco-friendly on 4th of July
Summer is here and the 4th of July is just around the corner. That means outdoor barbecues, family getaways, camping and the like. It can also mean that your carbon footprint gets bigger, what with things like increased air and car travel, trash from all those cookouts and air conditioning. So what can you do over the holiday weekend to stay eco-friendly? Here are a few ideas:

  • 1. First, Grill Smart. If you can, use a natural gas grill, or to be even greener, an infrared one. Either is better than burning charcoal. Charcoal briquettes contain coal dust and sodium nitrate, and they emit more soot than a gas grill.

  • All Natural Charcoal

  • 2. If you do have to use charcoal, use Hardwood Lump Charcoal. Yes it comes from a tree, but natural hardwood charcoal burns cleaner than briquettes and you can find brands like Whole Foods 365 Brand that use wood from sustainably managed forests. Oh, and ditch all that lighter fluid—it’s just nasty, toxic stuff. Use electric charcoal starters or a chimney starter.

  • 3. If you can’t use real dinnerware or silverware for your picnic or backyard barbecue, use biodegradable disposables. You can find them at some grocery stores now, and certainly online.

  • Flights

  • 4. Help neutralize your vacation mileage by purchasing carbon offsets. They’re not the be all end all, but legitimate programs like NativeEnergy fund clean energy or carbon reduction projects that help fight global warming. I have found that on average a family of four can usually offset the carbon dioxide caused by their roundtrip flight from SF to NY and back for around $50.

  • 5. Finally, if you’re renting a car on vacation, rent a hybrid like a Prius, which burns far cleaner than that cool red convertible rental you’re eyeing, and gets two to three times the miles per gallon.

Posted by:
Dean, the PR Dude

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