Make your Independence Day celebration green

Naturally, red, white and blue will be the colors of choice this—and every—July 4. But what if we could persuade you to expand your palette, and throw in a few shades of green this year?

There are many opportunities to scale back and be more sustainable when producing outdoor festivities and celebrations. We’ve put together a list of a few ways to do so—and we promise that zero fun will be compromised at your event!

First things first: Make your own natural insect repellent with our recipe of witch hazel combined with essential oils. You will thank us later!


  • Keep it vegetarian. Grilling up some marinated veggies makes a great-flavored option. For meat-eaters, we encourage you to at least buy your products locally to reduce that carbon footprint. Farmers markets are a great spot to get locally sourced meat, dairy and produce.
  • Use an electric grill, if possible. Gas is preferable to charcoal—but electric wins the eco-grill game. Charcoal emits VOCs that are harmful to the environment and to the guests breathing in all that smoke.
  • Prioritize reusable items over disposable: one of the most impactful ways to entertain sustainably is to use reusable cookware and utensils. If you must go with disposable plates, try compostable or recyclable options, such as Leafware or Verterra.
  • Get out those reusable water bottles, and help cut down on single-use plastic consumption.


  • Balloons are always a hard "no." It’s simply littering, plus when they drift away, then can become dangerous to wildlife.
  • Consider products made from rice paper, as well as biodegradable confetti. These types of products are readily available online.
  • Find local options to purchase your favors or decor. Also, Etsy is a great place to find handmade decorations, and you’re supporting independent artists around the world.


  • As with balloons, there is just no way around this one: what comes up, must come down. In no way do fireworks give back anything to the environment.
  • It’s important to remind people our ecosystem of living beings. When examining the worth of fireworks, consider that the sound can be triggering for many individuals, for a variety of reasons...not to mention, all of the alarmed pups!
  • If the tradition is simply too nostalgic, and not something you can part with, consider fireworks that are rich in nitrogen. They’re pricier, but they produce less acrid smoke in the air.
  • Perhaps the future holds laser light shows as the new norm for this patriotic holiday!

Leave spaces better than you found them.

  • Clean up! Naturally, even in your own backyard, you are a guest of the Earth you inhabit. Be sure to tidy up after your engagement, putting all materials in the appropriate receptacles.
  • For a fun twist, consider plantable invites or wildflower seed bombs a sweet way to give a little something special back to the ground that hosted you. Consider it a “thank you” for a great time.

See more tips for summer sustainability