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With the Fourth of July comes the burning of things. Barbeques, bonfires, marshmallows, and of course, fireworks! The bright lights, the beautiful colors, and the powerful displays can dazzle anyone. Grab a blanket or lawn chair and look away from your phones for a few minutes as those gleaming pyrotechnics dance across the night sky just for you.
With Independence Day just around the corner, we are most likely going to enjoy some fireworks. But those fireworks that we enjoy every year don’t just disappear into the night. The remnants of fireworks contain ingredients that can be harmful to the environment and pollute the air if not taken care of properly.
Pyrotechnics contain potassium perchlorate which provides the oxygen needed to get the fireworks to burn, along with heavy metals which provide the brilliant colors. These ingredients can be toxic to our health and to the environment, which is why scientists are working on a cost-effective way to make eco-friendly fireworks. So while there may not be any great alternatives to traditional fireworks yet, there are ways to use pyrotechnics safely for both the environment and for your fingers!
Eco-Friendly Fourth of July Tips
Whether you’ll be setting off personal fireworks or commercial fireworks for a municipality, it’s important to stay safe and smart. The excitement and dazzling lights can make us all a little loopy, but don’t forget that anything involving fire can be dangerous and toxic if used improperly.
Skip the personal fireworks, if you can. Surely there will be a local municipal display of commercial fireworks on or around the Fourth of July. Enjoy the larger and safer displays instead of lighting your own, if you can.
If you must, only use legal fireworks. Legally obtained fireworks are tested for safety, have short burn times, and result in fewer potential accidents. And as long as your pyrotechnics have been tested, they will have a reduced impact on the environment. Do not use illegally obtained fireworks, not only for the legal repercussions, but for your own health and safety.
Know where not to light up. Do not light fireworks over farmland or water. Nobody wants toxic materials in their crops or their lakes and oceans. This can adversely affect wildlife and people. Make sure that when you’re lighting fireworks or bonfires, you aren’t disturbing birds nests or the homes of any wildlife nearby. Use fire only in open spaces, and avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
Don’t go towards the light! If you want to keep your fingers, then step away from the firework as soon as it’s lit. The same goes for playing around with bonfires. As much as your friend might have fun pouring flammable products into your firepit, no one wants their eyebrows singed. Step away from the fire!
Don’t inhale the fumes. Whether lighting a firework or a bonfire, it’s important to be in an open space where the fumes and materials won’t be trapped and localized. Inhaling any sort of smoke is dangerous and should be avoided.
Clean up the remnants safely. When fireworks are done doing their thing, it’s time for the ten second tidy. Wait until the remnants have cooled down before picking them up. Sweep up the remnants and carefully dump them into a bucket filled with water. DO NOT put them into your regular trash can just yet. This can result in a trashcan fire, which can be dangerous, requires extinguishing, and most likely reeks. Once they’ve been soaked in water for several minutes, you can safely discard them.
Stay Safe & Have a Fun Fourth of July
While the world’s scientists are still coming up with new ways to create eco-friendly fireworks, it’s important to stay knowledgeable on the effects the items we use have on our health and the earth. At Green Gobbler, we take pride in creating safer and more environmentally conscious alternatives for your home and hearth. We want everyone to live a more eco-conscious life. So, enjoy your firework show this Fourth of July, but be aware of the ways to stay safe this season while around fireworks, bonfires, and the like. Happy Birthday, America!