Fireworks: Legitimate tradition or environmental hazard? – Evelyn Kimber, BHASVIC

The 2022 Bonfire Night celebrations may finally wrap up by mid-November, but their impact is far more lasting and shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Each year, the November 5th celebrations are always huge, and include elaborate fireworks displays and towering bonfires across the country, often spanning a full week in early November. In a bid to surpass last year, organizers are determined to make the displays longer and enlarge the bonfires. People look forward to commemorating the failure of Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and wanting to continue that sense of nostalgic tradition, as is the case with the Lewes Bonfire, which attracts thousands year after year, inviting them to join the to join the extravagant parade. As a result of these rapidly evolving large-scale celebrations, there is a risk of potentially damaging the environment, thereby exacerbating an already severe climate crisis.

To create enough oxygen to set off an explosion, many fireworks contain toxic perchlorate oxidizers. Once a firework has exploded, these can settle and dissolve in water, polluting local rivers, ponds, lakes and water sources, resulting in the death of wildlife in wetlands. Fireworks not only pose a threat to the local environment, but also contribute to environmental impacts on a much broader, global scale. If firecrackers can send a range of bright colors into the air, it’s because the chemical reaction was successful. This often releases harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, which increases the greenhouse effect. These fireworks are often accompanied by a large bonfire, and this mass burning of wood releases other noxious gases.

Perhaps the biggest problem is that Bonfire Night in the UK is not the only time of the year or the only place in the world where fireworks are used to mark a celebration. The Chinese New Year, American Independence Day on July 4th and Diwali celebrations in India are all events where fireworks are an integral part of the celebrations. The relatively regular use of fireworks around the world increases the environmental impact. Given the significant implications of celebratory fireworks today, it may now be important to consider an alternative method of commemorating such occasions.—evelyn-kimber-bhasvic/?ref=rss Fireworks: Legitimate tradition or environmental hazard? – Evelyn Kimber, BHASVIC

Fry Electronics Team

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