Fireworks? Better not
In a moment we will say goodbye to current year and welcome 2018. The desire to have fun on New Year’s Eve is understandable, we’re sharing it with you. However, there are dark clouds gathering around our happiness.
What is usually done on the night between the following years?
Most of us spend this time with relatives – family or friends. Some choose intimate home parties, others go to big balls, or participate in mass events.
We also eat a lot of delicacies (that night it’s allowed, most of the calories will be burned during dancing or walking anyway), and we won’t refuse a bit (or more than a bit) of alcohol.
And at midnight – fireworks, firecrackers, flares! And that’s what saddens our team … Because it’s a show for us, but for many people and animals it’s a tragedy.
Five reasons not to shoot on New Year’s Eve
1. Production of fireworks is unethical
Most of the available fireworks, firecrackers etc. are products made in Asia, where employee rights and safety rules are ignored. Not only that employees work in harsh conditions and for ridiculously low rates, but also working witch such dangerous materials often causes accidents, also fatal. Of course, we don’t need to mention that usually there is no medical treatment coverage or any compensation available for the workers…
2. Many animals are afraid of bangs and flares
The problem concerns not only home pets, who can at least count on their keepers help. In spite of our care, the New Year’s Eve canonade can cost us life or health of our furry friend, because even animals can suffer from, for example, a heart attack. Even more endangered are wild or homeless animals. The bang of firecrackers and fireworks’ shots cause the animals fleeing in distress and fall into accidents, die under the wheels of cars while suddenly jumping out onto the street, lose their guardians and orientation in the field. For animals the sounds of shots are associated with a direct threat to life, and because fireworks explode in the air, it is difficult for animals to assess where these sounds are coming from and where is safe to hide.
3. Pyrotechnic materials pollute the environment and are harmful to health
They are poisonous during firing (releasing sulfur and nitrogen oxides, among others), and later when various toxic substances soak into the soil from their remains (including metals such as lead or strontium, used to give fireworks colors). Tons of waste that are left behind on city streets or in fields are not without significance. Let’s remember that New Year’s Eve means a really huge number of fired loads, and therefore a gigantic amount of substances and waste remaining.
4. Fireworks and firecrackers = accidents
At the beginning of each year you hear about numerous accidents connected with firing crackers, rockets and fireworks. Burns, wounds, losses of fingers, sight, hearing… The victims are often children left unattended by adults. Moreover, you are often a bit drunk at the midnight. This may result in a dangerous clumsiness and risky, unwise behavior.
5. Belongings endangerment
Reckless playing with pyrotechnics can cause a high risk of fire. There can be also many minor damages like broken windows and sooted objects. Furthermore, the noise, dazzling lights and people lodging on the streets are the thing that help thieves and burglars in their “work”.
How to deal with those dangers?
The best you can do is not to buy and fire rockets, crackers and fireworks. Try to discourage your friends from using pyrotechnic materials. Report to authorities (eg. municipal police) any illegal points of sale of pyrotechnicals or incidents of selling them to underages (it is forbidden by law in many countries).
You can help your pets by providing them safe and silent shelter. In the most of flats you can use a bathroom, ‘cause usually it’s windowless. Try to calm down your pet by talking to it gently and covering it with a blanket or a towel. Cover cages and terraria with a towel as well. You can get additional noise effects reduction by turning on not very loud, relaxing music. If you know your pet is very anxious it is worth talking with a vet and getting a tranquilizer for your furry friend.
A joyful and bright atmosphere could be achieved without products that are dangerous and potentially harmful for us, animals and environment. You can light some candles (originated from an ethical source of course) and – the most of all – enjoy the delight in the eyes of your loved ones.
How to have fun without fireworks?
If you really can not imagine New Year’s Eve fun without fireworks, save money and take part in the fireworks show that your city organizes. Pyrotechnic shows organized by professionals during a mass event are safer and slightly more ecological (calculated per participant). However, if the above arguments convince you, but you still count on champagne fun, consider other options.
1. Club, concert, ceremony
Closed parties are definitely less evil. Confetti, balloons and streamers are also not ecological solutions, but still better than toxic fireworks. Furthermore, crackers and fireworks cannot be fired in a closed room.
2. Laser show or light mapping
Make a petition or write to the local authorities a request to replace an outdated tradition with a new show of lights, lasers or more and more popular performances using a technique called 3D light mapping. We guarantee that visual experiences will exceed your and your loved ones’ expectations!
3. Colorful glow sticks and flashlights
Instead of cold fires, firecrackers or fireworks, you can arm yourself with luminescent reusable gadgets. We recommend multicolored flashlights that will serve not only one night of the year, but are also practical to use at home or on a trip. Finally, LED gadgets in various shapes and colors are also available on the market. You can wear them like glowing jewelry, as a keyring or a handy lantern.
4. Virtual fireworks
Tymczasem w Bratysławie na Rynku ustawili ekran, na którym przy pomocy specjalnej aplikacji można było strzelić własnego fajerwerka. Bez zapachu, emisji szkodliwych substancji i o wiele cichszego niż tradycyjny. Można? 🎆 🎉
Opublikowany przez Na nowo śmieci Niedziela, 1 stycznia 2017
Last year, Bratislava organized fireworks which could be safely launched by every participant of the party using mobile phone app. Julia Wizowska, the author of popular polish Zero Waste project & blog, described the event in such a way: “No smell, no harmful substances and much quieter than traditional. Impossible?”
Whatever you choose, please remember that good entertainment doesn’t justify the misfortunes of other people and animals, nor does it compensate for sad consequences, such as accidents. An ethical choice will not only serve others, but will also help you have fun and enjoy the celebration without any remorse.