Environmental impact might not be the first thing on your mind when you are thinking about organising a fireworks display. But as the world is trying to combat climate change, there’s increasing focus on looking at the impact fireworks have on our precious planet. Fireworks are also going green!
Fireworks and the Environment
It’s easy to overlook the impact of fireworks on the environment because the wonderful explosions disappear onto the night sky so quickly. But the whole product doesn’t vanish, as there are always remnants left behind – some of which are considered as harmful waste.
Furthermore, some of the chemicals in fireworks are harmful toxins. These are not released in any large quantities in the air, but it’s nonetheless good to look whether you can limit even the tiny traces left in the air.
The above has led to new inventions in the fireworks industry. Scientists around the world have looked at how to replace the troublesome components. In fact, even the US Army has gotten involved and tested some of the new inventions.
Most of the eco-friendly fireworks have removed or at least reduced the prevalence of perchlorates and barium. The materials used in the packaging have also been made from materials that are more recyclable to reduce environmental impact.
One of the most notable differences is the replacement of potassium perchlorate with periodate salts. The problem has been to find chemicals that are as explosive and water resistant as barium and perchlorate. For instance, periodate salts absorb moisture much more, making them harder to light it up even when it isn’t raining!
Why Aren’t These Eco-Friendly Products Everywhere?
It is important to note that most of these eco-friendly products are not completely green. Overall, fireworks industry has moved towards a more sustainable model, which means that there isn’t always such a big difference on the impact.
As well as not being entirely green alternatives, eco-friendly fireworks are also quite expensive. There is a reason why fireworks use the certain chemicals and replacing these with alternatives have not been easy without hindering the product quality. In other terms, technology and science have not improved enough to make a viable, cost effective alternative to standard fireworks.
How to Make Fireworks Greener?
If you are interested in limiting the impact, it is a good idea to ask about eco-friendly options from your retailer. Furthermore, you want to pay attention to the ‘leftovers’. Always clear the display area of the waste and separate any recyclable materials from the non-recyclable.
You should also add other fun elements to your display. Catherine Wheels are a nice alternative and can be less harmful for the environment. Furthermore, you could include glow sticks and music to your display! You won’t need as many fireworks, yet the show will be as spectacular as ever.
The colour choices you make can also have an impact! If you want to limit the use of barium, for example, skip the green fireworks. White, red and blue don’t contain as much of this chemical and are therefore ‘greener’.
The industry is constantly innovating and looking for new products – no doubt,more eco-friendly fireworks will also become more common in the future.