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!
REDUCE YOUR USE
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:
- Kiteman Productions puts on amazing illuminated night-flying kite shows.
- Look into bringing a laser show to your town or city.
- Disney pioneered the use of compressed air instead of explosives to launch fireworks, and they’re hoping other businesses will follow suit.
- If you’re in the mood for something completely natural and more peaceful, host a sunset viewing party or stay up all night to greet the colors of dawn.
- If it’s not peace and quiet that you’re craving, but some bone-shaking noise, check out this round-up of Do It Yourself noisemaker tutorials from ArtistsHelpingChildren.org
- For the truly daring, try the good old-fashioned verbal fireworks of a heated discussion with close friends and family (pick a subject no one really cares about, and appoint a moderator to keep permanent damage to a minimum).
- Get out your pots and pans and celebrate with a cheerful ruckus like this group greeting the new year.
- 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.