Fireworks Apolcalypse, collage of plastic fireworks and other bits found on the beach by Finn Clark, age 6. Photo by Liesl Clark

by Rebecca Rockefeller

We’ve been picking up plastic bits from our local ditches and shores over two years now, and slightly singed or melted pieces of fireworks are one of our usual suspects. When you’re lighting off over-the-counter fireworks in the dark and admiring the way they look, you don’t notice the shards of plastic falling to the ground, but they’re there. Head to your local fireworks hot spot the day after the next loud holiday in your neighborhood and check the ground – You’ll see what we’re talking about. There’s no reason for despair, though – There are alternatives!


If you’d like to reduce this impact in your community (this article at Backcountry Attitude has information about the full environmental impact of traditional fireworks) you might work to switch your community to one of these alternatives:

     LED-illuminated kites swoop through the night sky during a Kiteman Productions show, photos used with permission

Grab a Seat at a Community Fireworks Display photo © Rebecca Rockefeller

  • If your heart says you must have fireworks for certain holidays, celebrate by staking out a good seat at your community’s professional-strength display. It’s the equivalent of buying in bulk – More bang for your buck and much less packaging to become landfill fodder. Added bonus: It’s a lot less likely that you’ll have to leave the fireworks show early because of singed hair or burnt fingers.

Do you have your own local plastic-free alternative to fireworks? Please let us know – We’d love to share it and spark a move away from plastic-encased fireworks.

Natural Sunset Fireworks, photo used with permission from Catherine Conoley

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Categories: Reduce Your Use, Think About It, Trash Pile - All Our Stuff


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  1. Mermaids’ Tears for Earth Day « Trash Backwards - April 26, 2012

    […] most common things we find on the beaches, the straws, pens, plastic bottle caps, toothbrushes, and fireworks are a few of the items they’re researching and trying to find non-plastic alternatives for us […]

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