Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Brief Guide to Red, White, Blue and Green Fourth

Hopefully you have a short day at work today, hence less time to goof off and read this blog, so I'll keep the tips short:

* 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!


Anonymous said...

Drive less. What better way to celebrate our nation's independence than by taking an action (or in this case, a non-action), that will help guarantee that we stay free. It isn't easy, but think about ways you can enjoy the holiday that don't involve frequent automobile trips--to the grocery, the mall, shuttling kids around. Plan a family day (or a quiet single day) at home, with your loved ones, pets, and neighbors.

Anonymous said...

miles, i'm all about helping out the planet... but skip fireworks? i think not! bring on the booms the bangs! the major problem lies not in a few days of fireworks but in a permanant lifestyle change in the lives of the multitudes. i understand your reasoning... but what a beautiful sight you will miss! (my opinion)

The Green Miles said...

Who said skip the fireworks? I just said they were bad for us and the environment. Why are we still using 9th-century technology (yes, 9th)? We have compact fluorescent light bulbs, hybrid cars, but we're still using barium and gunpopwder for our fireworks?

Conservative Futurist said...

The amount of toxic matter in even the most excessive fireworks displays is easily dissipated by the atmosphere and rendered harmless to the overall ecological well being of the planet. The earth has billions of years of practice in dealing with such atrocities...namely, volcanoes.

Sure, we must be responsible where we can. I agree with that. However, where I draw the line with most "green" fundamentalists is when it comes to promoting the fascism that must be in place to enforce such environmental protection.

I mean...banning backyard BBQ's in the Netherlands (and enforcing the ban with helicopter patrols... I wonder how many carbon credits are needed to justify keeping those birds on patrol for the hot dog scofflaw?)...

What's next? Where does it end? When do we reach the point where the Earth can care for itself? I have news for you - we'll never be there. Environmentalist fascism will grow so fast that entire governments will rise to power under the banner of "saving the Earth." They'll be elected, curtail your freedoms and say nothing of global warming ever again. Successive generations will grow up thinking the problem has been solved because no one talks about it anymore, when the only reason there was a "problem" in the first place was because everyone talked about it.

It's madness, I tells ya! :)

Let's just enjoy the 4th, it's accompanying BBQ's and fireworks in the relative peace enjoyed by volcanoes for millennia!

The Green Miles said...

Jeez, who said ban BBQs??? Between that and "skip fireworks," let's ease off on the straw man arguments and stick to the points I'm actually making.

Anonymous said...

as far as i am concerned... i did not mean to imply that you are calling on the nation to ban fireworks or skip celebrating our independance.

this does not qualify as a straw man argument. it is simply my opinion. (which i formed having adequate knowledge about the subject.) a public blog is just that, public. i am just wondering... speaking of technology, have you purchased that hybrid yet? maybe before you berate others for having their own opinions that differ from yours you should take into account that unless you are willing to live out your own convictions (which i believe you probably do for the most part) you have no business trying to beat me with your snobbery. if you can't take the heat, get out of the... you know the rest:)

please recieve this in the good humor it is intended. i am just feeling feisty today.

you have a valid point. fireworks are messy. no one debates that. i was simply stating that i intend to enjoy them anyway. i do not plan to start a rally to eradicate the usage of barium anytime soon because i am not passionate about the issue. kudos to you for your zeal, however, my lack of passion over fireworks does not make me ignorant or bad... just honest. hope you had a happy fourth:)