3 Ways to Reduce Waste on the 4th of July in New Orleans

Keep the party going while helping reduce the amount of litter in New Orleans this July 4th. Here are 3 easy ways:

 

1. Bring a Reusable Cup

As much as we all love those red solo cups, we suggest grabbing a bigger, better reusable one. That way, there is less plastic being used only one time then tossed or lost (you know how that goes…).

We like to use old Mardi Gras cups (cause we all have a million), reusable bottles (less spillage), or any other non-breakable cup—like one of these.

Plus, the bigger the cup you bring yourself, the more you can fill it up. Just sayin’.

 

Buy reusable and local with this Make Wetlands Liberty Bottle by Dirty Coast. www.dirtycoast.com

 

2. Recycle your Cans and Bottles

Aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials out there. This means that when you recycle say, a soda or beer can, you are reducing the amount of energy needed to create brand new cans by 90%! And recycled plastic saves ⅓ of the energy needed to create new plastic.

Brand new cans and bottles are made by extracting virgin materials (metals for aluminum and oil for plastic), transporting the extracted metals to refineries, processing them into usable materials, sending them off again to factories that make cans…it’s a big endeavor! But recycled cans are already in the form needed to simply re-melt, reshape and refill your favorite beverage.

So, how do you recycle? Collect your cans and bottles in a separate bag from trash. Use a different colored bag or make a sign so people know where to put what. Then at the end of the day, dump them in your curbside recycling (not in whole bag, just the cans and bottles).

Don’t have curbside recycling? Have no fear! The City of New Orleans Department of Sanitation collects recycling on the second Saturday of every month at 2829 Elysian Fields Ave. from 8am-1pm.

 

NOLA Brewing Company uses aluminum cans with marine-safe six-pack holders instead of bottling in glass so that their products can be recycled in the city. Plus, they donate used grains to local farmers for cattle feed instead of tossing it. www.nolabrewing.com

 

3. Give a Butt — Toss your Cigarettes the Right Way

Did you know that cigarette butts are the most common type of trash found on shorelines, like our Gulf, and in rivers, like our lovely Mississippi? Millions of them pile up from being tossed directly onto either beaches or land, where butts can be swept away into drains, bayous, streams, rivers and eventually the ocean.

Many people don’t know that cigarettes are litter. In fact, most cigarette filters are made from a type of plastic called cellulose acetate, which can break down into tiny pieces that last for generations.

What to do? Once you put out your cigarette completely (we don’t want any fires, now!), toss your butt into a waste receptacle. A nearby trash can, ashtray, or bag that you carry and toss later are great options. Just remember that the ground, though always there, is always wrong.

 

PS – Did you know your butts can be recycled?