At Keep America Beautiful®, we believe there is nothing more patriotic than keeping the country we cherish – our parks and community gathering places – clean, green, and beautiful. The Keep America Beautiful #Beautiful4th campaign, taking place from July 1-7, encourages Americans to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with the environment in mind.
Here are 10 ways to honor the land of the free, while protecting and preserving our beautiful places.
1. Leave nothing behind.
The Fourth of July is synonymous with trips to the beach and parks with family and friends – often resulting in littered public spaces. Do your part by cleaning up your picnic or beach spot before you leave and picking up any litter you see along the way. Also, if lighting fireworks at home, remember to pick up debris afterward.
2. Continue the party the next day.
Several of our affiliates and other groups across the country host beach cleanups on July 5 to pick up the litter and debris left behind by holiday beachgoers. Click to find an affiliate near you or host your own cleanup with friends.
Cut back on waste where you can by using reusable dishware, silverware, and tablecloths. You can also reduce your environmental impact by carpooling or riding a bike to your destination.
Use decorations you already own instead of buying new items. If you do purchase new items, store them for continued use next year. You can also take items you have at home and upcycle them into something new! For example, you can use empty wine bottles as candle holders or vases for cut flowers for a unique centerpiece.
Check locally to see where you can recycle common party waste like aluminum, glass, and plastic bottles. Plastic grocery bags, hotdog and hamburger bun bags, and bags that carry ice are all recyclable at drop-off locations at retailers across the country. If on the go, carry a bag to bring your recyclables home!
6. Get outside.
According to a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, spending just 20 minutes in a park is enough to improve an individual’s well-being. Over the Fourth of July weekend, spend time in a local park near you – you may feel healthier!
7. Get moving.
Be part of the “plogging” trend over the holiday weekend! Plogging combines jogging with intermittent squatting to pick up litter, offering exercise benefits while supporting your community and the environment. Learn more here.
8. Release the fish. Keep the trash.
Keep America Beautiful and Fishbrain, the world’s most popular mobile app and social network for people who love fishing, are partnering for the second year on a Fourth of July initiative to encourage trash-free waterways. Using the hashtag ‘#trashoftheday’ and Fishbrain’s geolocation features, users of the app are encouraged to remove littered items they encounter while fishing and upload images.
10. Give back.
Donate to Keep America Beautiful to help us continue to make a lasting environmental, economic, and social impact on communities nationwide.
While celebrating your clean, green and beautiful Fourth of July weekend, share your posts, pictures and videos with Keep America Beautiful on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Beautiful4th.