Did you know that fireworks cause extensive air pollution? We all grew up with festive holiday fireworks to ring in the New Year, or celebrate our country’s independence, but what does this form of celebration mean to our planet? In short, a whole bunch of pollution! Whether you love them or, like our four-legged friends, would rather they cease to exist, we must create awareness around the environmental impacts of fireworks.
Not So Joyous For The Environment…
The explosions and fizzes of fireworks are great fun. As we watch the patterns in the skies and guess the next bright colors to explode, we forget about the impacts these explosions have on our planet. Fireworks cause an extensive amount of air pollution in a short amount of time. Their explosions leave dangerous toxins, fine metal particles, and harmful chemicals in the air for days. Once these dangerous chemicals and toxins find their way to the ground, they contaminate our soil and waterways. From a human health perspective, short-term exposure to air pollution is linked to cardiovascular and respiratory issues and can cause lung damage. Take a look at these facts on fireworks.
Facts About Fireworks:
- Independence Day fireworks increase air pollution by 42%.
- Fireworks in the U.S. emit about 60,340 metric tons of CO2 every year.
- Fireworks emit harmful ozone.
- Raw materials used to create fireworks are mined from mountains which destroys wildlife habitats.
- Packaging from fireworks makes up 60-75% of a firework and consists of cardboard, wood, clay, and plastic.
- Health experts have advised against directly inhaling the smoke left after a fireworks display.
- Fireworks can be triggering for veterans with PTSD.
- Fireworks can be traumatizing to animals.
Ways We Can Make An Impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Consider other ways to celebrate. Look into a laser show or parade.
- If you are set on seeing fireworks, attend your town’s public fireworks show instead of setting off your own.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Share with your friends and family about the environmental impacts of fireworks.
- Encourage your local community leaders to find an alternative to annual fireworks celebrations.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Don’t support your community fireworks.
- Share this article with your loved ones.
- Write congress and the EPA to put bans on harmful chemicals found in fireworks.