From a planetary perspective, these tiny particles might mean big trouble. Once the bright colours fade and the sparks fall, the toxins can stick around in the air and have been found to cause greater lung damage than pollution from traffic. As they fall to the ground, these particles can end up in our soil or water systems too. While avoiding the firework fun isn’t always an option, going along to an organised display is a great way to avoid accelerating the problem.
November 5th celebrations have also stirred up some controversy from a social stance, with a 2018 petition to ban the sale of fireworks for the welfare of animals, children, and trauma sufferers gaining over 300,000 signatures. While just festive fun for some, the loud noises created by fireworks can be particularly triggering for military veterans, and research from the RSPCA also maintains that 45% of dogs show physical signs of fear when they hear fireworks. To be as respectful as possible to neighbouring households, aim to head to a display that is hosted at an isolated area away from any housing.
While our November night fun doesn’t come without its consequences, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to celebrate more sustainably. If refraining from fireworks all together isn’t possible just yet, it should be about reducing over-consumption and celebrating consciously. Eco-friendly fireworks might be hard to find, but white-only versions do have less harmful chemicals than their coloured counterparts. Displays in more remote areas are easier to clean up, while also reducing the effect of any pollution released. And, if it’s just a case of creating that nostalgic November cosiness that goes hand-in-hand with bonfire night, enjoying the effects from behind your window with a home-made toffee apple in hand doesn’t sound too bad to us at all.
Get sustainable this Christmas with our eco-friendly Christmas tree guide.
Eat seasonally this month with our seasonal food focus for autumn.
Be ready for bonfires with this healthy sticky toffee apple recipe.