How to have a planet-friendly 4th of July
Forget the fireworks! Celebrate the 4th of July the planet-friendly way.
With plant-based burgers, plastic-free picnics, and biodegradable confetti you’ll be set to have the healthiest and happiest of independence days.
Tips for hosting a planet-friendly 4th of July celebration
1. BBQ the plant-based way
All the classic 4th of July grub can be made with plant-based ingredients and cruelty-free goodness. From hot dogs made of carrots, to crunchy chips and guac, here are some of our favorite recipes for BBQ and picnic inspiration:
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who's ready to grill some dogs ! (ok…carrots)…but they TASTE like dogs! I swear it's weird but they are SOOOO dang good! 🥕🥕🥕🥕 tap the link in my profile for the full recipe –> @brandnewvegan http://www.brandnewvegan.com/recipes/smoky-vegan-carrot-dogs #wfpb #starchsolution #mcdougall #plantbased #vegan #carrotdog
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- Carrot hot dogs: In the U.S. it’s estimated people consume 150 million hotdogs on the fourth of July. Yes, you read that right, 150 million. Grill up some carrot dogs instead and feel good knowing you’re not contributing to that insanely high statistic.
- Veggie burgers: Grill up some Beyond Burgers and add your fave toppings like sliced tomatoes, lettuce, vegan mayo, and creamy Chao cheese slices for the ultimate BBQ handheld.
- Tofu skewers: Checkout this recipe from Sweet Simple Vegan for Grilled Barbecue Tofu Skewers. They’re both mouthwatering and planet-friendly (yes and yes).
- Grilled avocados: Whether you want to grill your avocados straight-up or turn them into a ceviche like this recipe from Love & Lemons, avocado dishes are perfect for picnic snacking.
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Have you ever grilled avocados? They’re yummy! 🔥🥑 I stuffed mine with a tangy veggie ceviche made with hearts of palm, tomatoes, coconut, cilantro and serrano. Give this one a go this weekend if you’re looking for a fresh grilling side dish! (recipe link in profile). #vegan https://www.loveandlemons.com/grilled-avocados-stuffed-veggie-ceviche/
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- Chips and guac: What’s not to love about chips and guac on a sunny day? If you’re feeling adventurous, check out our Wholesome Culture nachos guide for our handy tips and tricks!
- Sweet potato fries: Sweet potato fries are an easy yet delicious snack that nearly everyone will love. We love this simple recipe from Cookie and Kate.
- Watermelon everything: What’s a 4th of July celebration without watermelon? You can grill it up, eat it raw or stir it in a salad — whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.
2. Sip Sustainably
If you’re drinking alcohol, support sustainable breweries and wineries. Looking for something a bit sweeter? Add fruit to a vegan wine and whip up a sangria like this Sunny White Sangria from Oh She Glows. Or get an extra watermelon and blend it up to make a refreshing watermelon juice.
3. Say “no, thanks” to fireworks
Fireworks freak out animals, pollute the air, and do a bunch of other negative things to the environment. If you have your heart set on the light show, attend a community event instead of lighting them yourself. Or avoid them altogether and start a new tradition with biodegradable confetti.
4. Bring your own dinnerware
Instead of opting for the popular but (super) wasteful plastic plates, cups, and utensils — reach for real plates, glasses and straws. Even if you’re going to a friend’s house that doesn’t mean you have to contribute to the waste. You’ll not only be helping the planet by bringing your own gear, but you’ll also be saving the host from having to deal with your trash.
Our “Be The Change” reusable bamboo straws are the perfect Independence Day plus 1.
5. Rethink decorations
Instead of buying new decorations that you’ll use once and throw away, keep it simple with a few strands of white twinkly lights, reusable lanterns, and LED candles. It’ll be a perfect combination of classy and planet-friendly.
And say bye to balloons, which are harmful to animals and the Earth. Make red, white, and blue tissue flower pom poms out of recycled paper or put up an American flag to get into the theme.
6. Embrace the outdoors
Have a picnic in a park. Grill vegan patties in a backyard. Lounge by a pool with a bowl of watermelon. Go on an early morning hike. July is the ideal time to soak up sunshine and spend some time with Mother Nature. Just don’t forget to keep your skin safe with planet-friendly sunscreen.
7. Carpool or opt for public transportation
For millions of us, traveling is a non-negotiable part of the celebrations. But instead of driving solo, try carpooling or even consider public transportation. It will save you time sitting in traffic alone and will lower your carbon footprint.
If you don’t have that far to go, consider walking or cycling. It’s good for the Earth and good for you, too!
If you’re craving a summertime picnic after this post, check out these other blogs!
- Every recipe you need for the perfect vegan picnic
- 4 Reasons now’s the perfect time to go vegan
- 7 Yummy vegan versions of your favorite summer snacks