Sustainable Ways to Commemorate Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember U.S. military personnel who died in service to their country. While there are many ways to reflect on their courage and selflessness, consider how to pay tribute while embracing sustainable practices. 

Here are some sustainable ways to commemorate Memorial Day this year:

Plant a Memorial Tree

Choose a native tree species and dedicate it to the memory of a specific service member or in honor of all those who have served. As the tree grows, it will serve as a lasting symbol of remembrance and contribute to a greener future.


Honor others by giving back to the community. Memorial Day weekend is an ideal time to gather friends to beautify parks or serve the community in another way.

Sustainable Floral Tributes

Flowers are a traditional part of Memorial Day remembrances. Instead of purchasing cut flowers that have a short lifespan, consider planting flowering perennials in your garden. These plants will bloom year after year, providing a beautiful and sustainable tribute. Alternatively, support local florists that source their flowers ethically and sustainably.

Integrate Sustainability At Events

Many communities organize Memorial Day events and parades. Advocate for recycling stations, encourage the use of reusable decorations and raise awareness about the importance of sustainability within these events. Consider how to help before, during and after the event to promote sustainability and support your community. If gathering for events with family and friends, opt for sustainable practices such as using reusable and locally sourced items.

Support Veteran-Run Businesses

Take this opportunity to support veteran-run businesses. Seek out local shops, restaurants or farms owned and operated by veterans and committed to eco-friendly practices. 

For more information on the many ways NC State works to serve those who have served, visit