Instead of sitting around for the Memorial Day weekend, why not get outdoors and enjoy the extra time off work and school among nature and your fellow human beings? Yes, that was me telling you to put the iPad down. Step away from Facebook. The world will not end if you don’t play “League of Legends” for one day. I promise. If you’re having trouble getting started, here are a few ideas for celebrating the long weekend the eco-friendly way.
MAKE A SPLASH AND CLEAN UP YOUR LAKE
I am fortunate enough to live close to the lake, so for me, this one’s easy. Grab the kids and a couple of trash bins and go clean up a bit of the shore of your local lake or stream. I would recommend 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 clean up confined to a small space. Afterwards, 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.
HOST A GREEN BARBECUE
Barbecues are a staple of Memorial Day festivities, so green it up by using your own plates, glasses and flatware. If you’re going to a location that’s other than your backyard, bring a separate bag along with you to carry used utensils and dishes home without making a mess of your car. Organic chicken or veggie dogs are great sustainable alternatives to traditionally produced beef products. Collect recyclables and drop them off at a recycling center on your way home or toss them in your recycle bin when you get home. Again, be sure to leave your location better than when you arrived.
GET ACTIVE ON MEMORIAL DAY
How about getting in a little fitness for the weekend? 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 farmer’s 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 on 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.