Bonfire night is a great British tradition which few would want to stop, but here are a few suggestions on ways to help reduce the impact of the event on the environment.
Remember always use fireworks safely by following the manufacturers’ instructions carefully and also cordon off a bonfire or firework display area in order to ensure the safety of the public.
Try to attend a public display rather than having your own fire (which will only add to the pollution), but if this is not possible use clean, dry material in order to minimise smoke.
If you are building a bonfire, use only clean, dry garden waste such as untreated wood and branches as this minimises the amount of smoke produced. Small amounts of leaves, recycled card and paper can also be used for kindling. Do not use plastics or household rubbish or any oils, aerosols, rubber tyres, canisters etc as this can release toxins into the environment and possibly explode. Remember to check for small animals and hedgehogs that may have crawled into your bonfire. Build bonfires as close to lighting as you can to reduce the risk of wildlife getting inside. Bonfires cause environmental damage due to the release of gases and toxins in the smoke.
Fireworks are frightening to pets and animals. Try to keep your pets in as animals such as cats and dogs are frightened of fireworks. If possible keep other outdoor pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs indoors or in a garage or outbuilding.
Fireworks can be harmful to the environment, they contain heavy metals which are used to make the colours and chemicals and are used to accelerate them and make them explode. Smoke, chemicals etc damage and litter the environment.
A new range of Eco bonfire pyrotechnics are currently being produced which should be available in the near future. The eco friendly fireworks are based on compressed air.
Light your way the eco way and use a wind up or rechargeable torches to guide your way. Why not treat your children to a Blow Light to keep them entertained, this is the world’s smallest wind generator and is a great environmentally friendly toy. The Blow Light it powered by blowing on the rotor to start up, it then displays blue and green LED lights. These are also a safer and more environmentally friendly alternative to sparklers. If children do have sparklers make sure that they are accompanied by a mature adult.
The Blow Light can be purchased from Nigel’s Eco Store and other good retailers.
Wrap up warm when you are out in the cold with eco fleeces, hats, gloves and scarves.