Six sparkling tips to enjoy a green Bonfire Night
Are you celebrating Bonfire Night with parties and spectacular firework displays?
In recent years the tradition has been criticised for its effect on the environment and the health of those watching.
So how can everyone enjoy a safe and an eco-friendly evening? Green environment expert Ron Fox gives his six sparkling tips.
Use natural wood:
“When preparing a bonfire, it can be all too easy to as it as an excuse to burn old furniture, mattresses or even household rubbish,” said Ron of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
“But people must remember that it is illegal to burn most types of waste and setting fire to treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment,” he added. “Instead reduce the smoke by burning only dry, clean and natural materials, such as untreated wood or waste from your garden.”
Beware of animals:
“With numbers of many mammals, such as hedgehogs, dwindling in the UK, don’t put any animals at risk when lighting your bonfire,” said Ron. “Garden log piles provide crucial shelter this month for hedgehogs preparing for hibernation.
“To avoid accidentally trapping them among the timber build your bonfire on the day you intend to light it or in a place well away from the animals.
“Also ensure your own pets are well looked after and kept indoors and as far away as possible from the big bangs.”
Use eco-friendly fireworks:
“Rockets and Catherine wheels help give a magnificent firework display,” said Ron. “But they also pollute the atmosphere.”
He added that if eco-friendly fireworks are hard to find and expensive, then go for white-coloured fireworks which generally have fewer harmful chemicals than most of the colourful ones.
Be a weather watcher:
Checking the forecast in advance and choosing the best evening when the air is clear with a light breeze can make a huge difference. If the night air is still and misty, then the effects of pollution are intensified, plus there’s a danger to spectators if a stiff wind is blowing, said Ron.
Be wary of sky lanterns:
Although they don’t have lots of polluting chemicals these popular attractions pose a significant danger to wildlife which can get trapped in the wires when they land. “If you really want a sky lantern some retailers now sell biodegradable lanterns made without any wire,” said Ron.
Attend a public display:
“The best way to make your Bonfire Night as eco-friendly as possible is to go to a public display,” he added. “Many people gathering in one place for a bigger display will result in far fewer harmful chemical emissions than lots of smaller events in back gardens.
“Also, it can be a great way to support local community groups and charities raising funds for a good cause.”
For more information about environmental matters and green energy call Ron on 0845 474 6641.