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Happy Interdependence Day!

1 July 2024

The 4th of July is fast approaching! Being married to a Brit, this holiday has always been a sore spot in our family. Just kidding! Actually, we usually put out our American flag AND the Union Jack. The truth is - just like my husband and I - the UK and the US have evolved into being partners.

American culture leans heavily into independence, and, while it's good to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, usually cooperation gets us all farther. So I thought today I'd mention some ways you can care for yourself and others this 4th of July:

Fireflies over fireworks. Fireworks cause a spike in air pollution (the same type that we had from last summer's wildfires). Loud noise can frighten wildlife and people sensitive to noise. There are many quieter, fun and safe alternatives to fireworks. For example, watching nature's light show performed by our friendly fireflies! This option is free and, with the money you saved, you can buy food for a local animal rescue, like Rock n' Rescue in Bedford Hills (who, BTW, are having a huge adoption event this Thursday).

Consume all foods mindfully (enjoy them) and make at least half your plate vegetables. Over 150 million hot dogs will be eaten on Independence Day (but not by Joey Chestnut!). A diet high in ultra-processed animal foods harms human health and places a heavy burden on the planet. So be like Joey Chestnut and choose a meat alternative, try these Smoky Vegan Carrot Dogs, or just eat less meat!

Appreciate our neighbors, human and otherwise, and work together! Americans come from countries around the world, each contributing unique cultural values. Native plants and wildlife promote balance and protect the ecosystem. When we look at both our country and our environment holistically, we realize that diversity is what creates resilience, and that is the path to health.

Support local artists. Grab your picnic blanket [and some friends] and head over to an outdoor music, dance or theater performance near you. Observing real talent can be as exhilarating as the best fireworks display. In less than two weeks, I'll be volunteering at the Pleasantville Music Festival again. Every year is fun, with the “unknowns” often as much fun and talent as the headliners. Let me know if you'll be there!

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