July 2, 2012 at 9:48 pm
I love the Fourth of July. I love the neighborhood barbecues, parades, and of course, the fireworks! That is, I loved fireworks until I learned how toxic they can be to our environment and our health. Talk about a favorite tradition blowing up in your face.
Recent studies have found that fireworks have a toxic effect on water and air quality, and spew hard metals and plastics into the air. Plus, they also scare pets and wildlife. As such, I’d like to offer some suggestions on how you and your family can explore alternatives to celebrating this national holiday.
Attend Big Event: If you want to see fireworks, visit one of the big events in your area rather than try to recreate the experience in your backyard. Attending a larger event keeps the noise and debris to one area, affecting less wildlife and hopefully disposing of garbage properly. Further, you can encourage your city to seek out and use eco-friendly fireworks.
Watch it on TV: Instead of shooting fireworks yourself, watch them on television. Find the fireworks programming in your local listings.
Go to a Laser Show: These are popping up across the nation especially in areas experiencing super-dry, fire-prone conditions. Sedona is hosting their first light show this year if you happen to be in the area or you can search the internet for alternative community events.
Enjoy Alternatives: Our neighborhood has adopted a new tradition to celebrate the 4th–hosting a house-to-house barbecue that ends with an outdoor movie. We all pitch in and rent an outdoor, blow-up movie screen and gather around after the sun goes down to eat popcorn and watch movies. Othe fun alternatives include old-fashioned stargazing and camping.
Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!
Kate Ruffing transformed her home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, into a “sustainable living lab,” where she explores living an eco-friendly lifestyle that works for her and her family. She shares her sustainable living solutions on her blog Camp 4, and here on Momster.com.