Clean Beaches Week - July 1 through July 7.

Go Green with Red White & Blue 

Tips for an Environmentally Friendly July 4th Celebration

Delaware beaches are packed to the gills with activities over the July 4th holiday. But it is also the midway point of Clean Beaches Week (from July 1 through July 7). With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for not only celebrating the holiday but for also giving local beaches their freedom from litter and harmful remnants of our festivities.

Opt for Eco-Friendly Decorations: 

Instead of dropping dollars on traditional plastic decorations that will wind up in the trash tomorrow, consider natural items such as flowers, plants, and biodegradable materials (such as biodegradable balloons). 

Make Your Own Confetti: 

Traditional confetti is composed of microplastics or mylar, and if it has a metallic shine, there is likely some component of metal within. Instead, consider making your own leaf confetti. 

Use Reusable Tableware: 

Ditch disposable plates, cups, and utensils. Instead, dine with reusable options that can be washed and used again for future celebrations.

Local & Organic Food: 

Choose locally sourced and organic foods for your July 4th barbecue. You can support area farmers and reduce the environmental impact of transportation and pesticides.

Minimize Food Waste:

Get a headcount and plan your menu accordingly to avoid overbuying food. Save leftovers for future meals or compost them instead of throwing them away.

Digital Invitations: 

Part with paper invitations and consider sending electronic invites or create a Facebook event. 

Carpool or Use Public Transportation: 

For just $2, you can hop aboard one of DART’s beach buses and reduce emissions and fuel costs.

Choose Sustainable Fireworks Alternatives:

Even though fireworks are a staple of the holiday, traditional fireworks can contain environmentally harmful chemicals. Consider alternatives such as laser light shows or rechargeable glowsticks.

Clean Up Responsibly: 

When wrapping up a large celebration, be extra mindful of properly disposing all trash and recycling items. Take it a step further and consider organizing a beach or park clean-up as part of your celebration.

Be Water Wise: 

If you’re using water for activities like water balloon fights or slip ‘n slides, be mindful of water usage. Consider using buckets or reusable water balloons (available locally at Kids Ketch).

Educate and Inspire:

Use your celebration as an opportunity to educate others about the importance of environmental conservation and inspire them to make eco-friendly choices in their own lives.

+ By taking a few simple steps, you can enjoy a festive July 4th celebration while minimizing your environmental impact and protecting the planet for future generations.

If you encounter a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, contact MERR Institute at (302) 864.0304 or email MERR is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the conservation of marine mammals and sea turtles and their habitat. MERR provides rescue and response for stranded marine animals that occur throughout the State of Delaware. 

Rob Rector has served as naturalist and board member for 20 years, is a certified Protected Species Observer, and leads weekly dolphin observation tours that use citizen science to gather information on our local Bottlenose Dolphin populations.

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