Memorial Day – A day when Americans honor those who have died in military service to the United States of America. Many of us honor the dead by visiting cemeteries, posting a flag, and by having potlucks and grilling celebrations. Let us take the opportunity to honor what those brave Americans fought for by committing to sustainability this Memorial Day. Let’s help to “Keep America Beautiful!”
A few tips for a sustainable Memorial Day:
- Buy local – Shopping at your local farmers’ market for fresh salad ingredients can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and also reduce the packaging that will end up in the landfill.
- Switch to chicken, fish, or veggie burgers – Beef and pork products have two to three times the environmental impact as chicken, fish, and especially veggie burgers because of the greater water, energy, and land resources needed to feed cattle and hogs.
- Reusables – This day and age nearly all homes have dishwashers. So this Memorial Day skip the disposables and use reusables to keep your party out of the landfill.
- Eco- and Family-friendly activities – gardening with native plants or heading out for a walk/bike ride as a family are some great family-friendly Memorial Day activities that are also eco-friendly.
- Pooper Scoopers – It’s fun to get out and play with your pets but if your pet does a number two while out and about, it is best pick it up. Pets poop contains bacteria. While it is not immediately toxic, the combination of thousands of people not picking up poop and rainy weather can cause the bacteria to get into local streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater aquifers and contaminate them. Case Study: It really did happen! The city of Austin, TX, is home to more than 250,000 dogs. After the start of their “Scoop the Poop” campaign, the city saw a significant decrease in giardia, roundworms, salmonella, and other viruses and parasites in their local waterways, thus improving the environment and conditions for recreational activities.