July has finally arrived, and with it comes one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, the 4th of July! The United States of America’s birthday. Christmas in July. It is a time of year that brings families together from all corners of the country and a time that makes family members out of strangers. On this day, we collectively put aside our day-to-day worries and fully embrace the celebratory spirit.
We come together to celebrate our country’s past, present, and future. This year, Happy Campers RV Rentals and Leave No Trace invite you to take your celebratory spirit one step further. In honor of our beautiful country and the majesty waiting just outside of our back doors, we invite you this year to celebrate the nature of North America.
In solidarity and support of Leave No Trace’s #DontFeedtheLandfills initiative, Happy Campers is here to share four trips and tricks for minimizing any waste products produced during your 4th of July party this year. By taking small, simple steps, we can all participate in the stewardship of our natural lands. As Leave No Trace says, “We don’t need a handful of people living sustainably perfectly. We need millions doing it imperfectly.”
Read ahead for four simple ways you can make a substantial impact this holiday season!
- 1Avoid Disposable DinnerwareIt's safe to say that doing the dishes is not the most desirable activity to look forward to any day, least of all on a holiday weekend. However, an estimated 40 billion plastic utensils (just the utensils) are tossed into United States landfills every year. The vast majority of these utensils have only been used once. This year, ditch the paper and plastic and invite guests to bring their own reusable dinnerware. This includes plates, utensils, cups, and water bottles. It may feel like a strange request initially, still, the impact of eliminating several bags of trash from a single party is no small feat.
- 2UpcycleAn estimated 35 pounds out of 100 pounds of trash is purely paper products. Though many paper products are biodegradable, the amount of trees and resources it takes to produce paper towels, napkins, and plates is pervasive. That's why this year, we suggest making your own reusable rags by upcycling extra cloth you have around the house! Take that old sheet that doesn't fit your new mattress and make rags that you can use again and again to clean your home and table space. Any old fabric can work, and any decrease in your disposable paper product use goes a long way.
- 3Go AluminumIf your 4th of July celebrations include offering single-use drinks, go aluminum! Aluminum is one of the most easily recycled manufactured materials ever produced. 75% of the aluminum ever created is still in use today! Glass and plastic are extensively more challenging to process, and studies show that it takes less energy to recycle an aluminum can than it does to make a new one.
- 4RecycleIf you know your guests probably won't bring their own plates or there are no upcycle materials to be found, consider looking into special recycling programs in your area. Terracycle is a remarkable program for recycling post-consumer waste that often goes unrecycled. Terracycle offers recycling programs for many picnic items, such as chip and snack bags, drink pouches, and even balloons!