Go Green This Independence Day

Fireworks and outdoor barbecues come to mind when you think of Independence Day. As we get ready to celebrate freedom, it's important to remember the responsibility we all share to care for our planet. Below are some tips to help you kick up your heels this Fourth of July without increasing your environmental footprint.

Grill Greener

July 4th is the most popular day of the year for outdoor grilling. Unfortunately, barbecuing has environmental impacts that go beyond your backyard. Here's how you can grill more sustainably.

  • Put as much food on the grill as possible. The more you cook at once, the more efficient you're going to be.
  • If you use a charcoal grill, choose natural or organic charcoal and avoid using lighter fluid.
  • For propane grills, minimize warm-up time and keep the lid closed as much as possible to cook more efficiently.
  • Choose grass-fed or free-range meat and serve organic vegetables from your local farmer's market or food co-op. They're healthier, tastier and better for the environment.

Save on Fuel

Planning a holiday trip? The best thing you can do for the environment is to change your plans and stay home. If you do hit the road, follow these tips to drive more efficiently.

  • Observe the speed limit. Gas mileage usually decreases at speeds above 50 miles per hour. Driving slower isn't just safer, it can save you money as well.
  • Avoid hauling cargo on your roof. Cargo on your roof increases drag (wind resistance), which reduces fuel economy.
  • Remove extra weight. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones.
  • Use cruise control. While driving on the highway, cruise control keeps your vehicle running at a constant speed, which helps save fuel.

Go Shopping for Energy Efficiency

Hit your local DIY or department stores and take advantage of summer holiday sales to purchase ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances, lightbulbs and other energy-efficient products. You'll start saving energy and money this Independence Day and well into the future.