How to get ready for the 4th of July

Kai Otton

Kai Otton

 

Gearing up for the 4th of July? The 4th of July is a day to celebrate and get together with family and friends at bbqs, parties and summer outings. The part that is often overlooked is that someone has to cleanup the after-party.
 
July 5th is the dirtiest day of the year across all US beaches. On this day, humanity adds to the estimated 5-13 million tons of plastic entering our oceans each year. But don’t stress. We all want to BBQ and #BeachFreely on the 4th, so here’s some ways to do that responsibly.

 

Beach Tips

1.    Pack In, Pack Out. Plan ahead and pack reusable items to prevent having to throw out trash or leave anything behind. Make sure litter lands in the designated trash bins or bring it back with you to recycle.

2.    Food. Everyone loves a good snack at the beach, right? Bring reusable plates and cups. If you must choose disposable, look for a good paper option.

3.    Bags. Leave the plastic bags at the store. You don't need a dedicated beach bag, most reusable bags will fit your towel, reusable bottle and other essential items.

4.    Cups. Check out the beach or park on a busy day and you’ll find lots of cups in people's hands. Plastic and foam cups are found left littered across beaches. Invest in a reusable cup or bring your reusable bottle. In addition to reducing plastic pollution, you could save money in the long run.

5.    Avoid excessively packaged products. The packaging wastes resources without adding value and, if made from plastic, can release toxins after being discarded.

6.    Everything else: Avoid foam coolers and other inexpensive items that you plan to use for a day or less because they will likely break and be discarded. A $5 chair or umbrella is not likely to last beyond the weekend. Check local thrift stores, resale shops and websites like Craigslist for quality items at a good price.

7.    Reef-friendly sunscreen. Avoid harsh chemicals and opt for sunscreens that are mineral based and reef-friendly.