5 Eco-Friendly Ideas for Memorial Day Weekend
Memorial Day in the United States is right around the corner. It is a day to honor the men and women who’ve died while serving in our U.S. military. A long weekend for many of us, Memorial Day is frequently filled with solemn ceremonies of remembrance and participation in other outdoor activities. After honoring those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, why not try one or more of these eco-friendly activities?
1. Host a green block party
Get your family, friends, and neighbors together for an old-fashioned cookout with a new (and green!) twist! Ask that all guests bring items in reusable containers, and use real plates and utensils — no plastic or paper waste, regardless of how cute those red, white and blue party plates look! Get your (paperless) invitations out in advance and ask guests to bring either a meatless dish or one with sustainable ingredients (don’t forget the wine and spirits, too!). Source ingredients from a local farmer or purveyor.
2. Play ‘tourist’
Instead of traveling this three-day holiday weekend, why not take advantage of the great sights in your own town? Pull together a group of friends and hop onto your local transportation system. Better yet, walk or bike to your city’s zoo, or to children’s, history, nature or art museum. Pack a picnic lunch in reusable containers so you can save money while also not having to rely on excess waste resulting from a stop at a restaurant or a drive-thru.
3. Get a jump start on summer
Use your Memorial Day holiday weekend to get a head start on your hot-weather planting. Visit a nursery, do your research at the library or online and even spend some time preparing your existing garden or creating a new garden for the upcoming season.
4. Memorialize nature too
Grab the kids and a couple of trash bins and go clean up a bit of the shore of your local lake or stream. Take gloves, shovels and maybe a rake or two. Practice safety first — don’t pick up syringes or anything else that might pose a health risk — and keep the cleanup confined to a small space. Afterward, sanitize or wash your hands (depending on the facilities available nearby) and have a picnic. Be sure to leave the place a little better than when you arrived.
5. Get active!
Check your city’s website for information about local marathons or hit the bike trails and enjoy the nice summer temperatures. Follow up a nature walk with a visit to the local farmers market. Holidays like Memorial Day are prime times for connecting with local farmers, artisans, and bakers. Chances are they’ll even have fun activities for the kids at the same time.
Whatever you decide to do this Memorial Day, consider how your actions will impact the environment. The day may be for remembering those who died for our country, but we can also remember the environment as we celebrate.