* Are public fireworks displays bad for the environment? Yes. They contain toxic chemicals that pollute the air and nearby bodies of water, and the spent shells can scatter litter over a huge radius. Disney is taking the first steps towards environmentally friendly fireworks, but there's a long way to go. Obviously backyard fireworks have less impact because they're smaller, but let's be honest -- the chances of anything you buy by the side of the road being green are slim.
* If you're hosting a BBQ, make it a green BBQ. Can I address just the guys for a minute here? Girls, just skip on down to the next bullet. OK, guys, this could be the easiest way to impress the girls by making it seem like you planned a theme to your BBQ. All you have to do is buy organic stuff at the grocery store and use your regular dishes where possible instead of paper plates and plastic cups. And I am not making this up -- if you use pint glasses with them instead of plastic cups, kegs are environmentally friendly.
* Recycle no matter where you are. If you're going somewhere to picnic and watch the fireworks, I'm guessing there won't be recycling bins nearby. I'm always amazed that people who are religious recyclers at home will toss plastic water bottles in the trash without a second thought when they're out and about. I think it's kind of like how since they don't list calories at restaurants, everyone gorges themselves way more than they would at home. If you can, bring your empty bottles home to recycle.
* Press your politicians while they're pressing the flesh. If you see any politicians trying to win votes in your local Independence Day parade, ask them what they're doing to preserve our country's future by stopping global warming. The more people ask, the more pressure they'll feel.
Any other green tips for the Fourth? Post them in the comments!