PRESERVATION OF OUR NATION’S SPIRIT is something on which Americans pride themselves. Preservation of our natural resources is something Oregonians hold dear. Making the 4th of July in Oregon a little more green has huge implications in sustainability. Use of eco-friendly products, healthier (and tastier) Oregon-made food and drink alternatives, and the addition of some new traditions can help keep the 4th of July spirit alive and sustainable for years to come.
Here is a list of our favorite healthy and green tidbits and to-do’s. Happy birthday, America.
The 4th of July is an excuse for adults to play lawn games. Take the opportunity! Set up a game of capture the – American – flag. Compete in a Ping Pong tournament. Divide into teams for a competitive BBQ cornhole round. Better yet, play a round of cornhole with a board set from Oregon-based Custom Cornhole LLC. Lawn games are a perfect way to have a good time and stay moving at a 4th of July BBQ.
DESCHUTES BREWERY BEER
Deschutes Brewery’s seasonal Twilight Summer Ale is perfect for the 4th. The Oregon-made ale is crisp and bright. The grapefruit undertone makes the beer citrusy and refreshing. Bonus points: It’s organic, non GMO, and contains live yeast, making it a healthy go-to.
With the same nostalgic, smokey taste of a traditional hotdog, Oregon based Olympia Provisions brings the Frankfurter closer to home. Made with ingredients you can pronounce like “pure pork shoulder” and a “natural lamb casing,” Olympia’s foot long frank is a healthier (and tastier) option than mainstream dogs, and is accessible in stores all over Oregon.
Take a break from the liquor and enjoy beer’s sweeter cousin: kombucha. Oregon is kombucha obsessed. Who’s to blame us? It’s refreshing, slightly sweet, and supports a healthy gut. Kombucha is also a great option for underaged members of your party. Try one of these Oregon craft kombuchas for your 4th.
– Brew Dr.
– Lion Heart
REUSABLE PLATES, CUPS, UTENSILS
The common argument against reusing plates, cutlery and cups for large events is that it’s expensive and difficult to handle. This, however, doesn’t have to be the case with Preserve’s On the Go Plates. They’re dishwasher safe, durable enough for hundreds of uses and made from 100% recycled plastic, making them recyclable if need be.
BOB’S RED MILL WHOLE WHEAT BUNS
Swap the tired white bun for something healthier and more delicious. Bob’s Red Mill’s award-winning bun recipes (try Mom’s Dinner rolls or Sandy’s Gluten Free Bun and Roll recipe) from the website are a good place to start. They’re packed with whole grains, fiber and protein which means you’ll stay fuller longer.
CLEAN YOUR GRILL IN 5 STEPS
Grills are a breeding ground for bacteria. Before dishing out burgers on the Fourth, consider a scrub and taking some biodegradable dish soap to your grill.
Step 1: Turn all dials off, and disconnect the propane tank. Remove the grates from the grill and soak them in hot water and dish soap.
Step 2: Cover the heating elements with tin foil for protection, then using the grill brush, scrub the underside of the hood.
Step 3: With a damp sponge, go over the scrubbed area.
Step 4: After the grill grates have been soaking for a few minutes, scrub and hose them down.
Step 5: Replace all grill parts and go over the outside with stainless steel wipes or a washcloth.
TAKE A HIKE
The easiest way to balance partying on the 4th of July in Oregon? Take a hike. Oregon has some of the best hiking in the country. Climbing one of Oregon’s peaks gives access to the best seats for watching fireworks. Plus after some exercise, that burger becomes a well-deserved reward. Here’s a list of some of our favorite hikes around Oregon (*view of fireworks).
– Spirit falls, Oakridge
– *Pilot Butte, Bend
– *Rocky Butte, Portland
– Tom Dick and Harry Mountain Hike, Mirror Lake Trailhead
– Tam McArthur Rim Trail, Sisters
– *Deschutes River Trail, Bend
– Bald mountain, Rhododendron
– *Skinner Butte, Eugene
– *Council Crest Park, Portland
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*A winner has been selected for this category* Congratulations to Ashley J. in Bend!