It is July 4th, and I bet you all are getting ready for some awesome cook outs and fireworks. It is a day to spend with family and friends and a day to watch fireworks (as well as lighting a couple up yourself!) But is it possible to go green on this great summer holiday? The answer: yes.
One of the best things about July 4th is the food! We all have our favorites and with me being a vegetarian, mine would be a grilled avocado, peanut butter, and tofu sandwich. Ok, so I know that is not quite everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t knock it until you try it!
But the bad thing about all of the wonderful foods is that we usually tend to eat too much of it, and the trash can piles up! So what are some ways to eat healthier when it comes to the usual grilling of foods? Well lets start with the obvious: Don’t eat to much! When we as Americans are put in front of food, we feel inclined to eat it. I am not saying that you should not eat. I am saying just the opposite. Eat! Enjoy yourself! But slow down a little. Enjoy the food instead of inhaling it. And trust your body as well. If you are hungry, eat. If you are comfortably full, do not eat. If you are slightly hungry but not to a point where it bothers you, well……save room for dessert!
Also, what you eat has a big impact on your health. Quickly eating a huge bag of chips and then washing all down with some soda is not exactly eating healthy. Go for the chips if you want, but keep the amount moderate. My advice would be to make your plate colorful instead. Go for bright colors and use them to top your burger (bright red, yellow or orange peppers, red onions, sprouts, etc.). Personally I will be sticking to the salads, but it is all your choice. Just remember to keep things moderate and colorful. Even what you are drinking. If you are not drinking water, try something fruity (orange soda doesn’t count!) like lemonade or some un-sweet tea. It is way better for you than sodas.
Don’t forget to make sure your food is environmentally safe too! When buying meat to throw in the grill, try to buy it free-ranged if you can. Make some of the dishes yourself instead of buying them so that you know whats in it, and use whole foods like vegetables instead of processed chips and such.
Once the grilling is done and the fireworks have been set off, it is then time to clean up. So what to do with all that trash? Well for starters, dispose of any small fireworks that you have set off. Don’t just leave them in the street or on the ground where they will get swept away or where some animal will nibble on it only to find that they just ate something that could probably hurt them. And be sure to recycle your excess paper, cardboard, or plastic (most of which can be recycled at most organic food markets or at your local dump).
So enjoy your summer fun out in the sun, but remember to keep it green and to be conscious of both how and what you eat. Enjoy a red, whit and blue…..and green independence day!
-Andrew D. Morrison-