The skies across America were adorned with a rainbow of colors and sounds yesterday and probably through the weekend.  Hopefully everyone had a happy 4th and a safe one. How about a environmentally friendly one?  Hard to do when almost all fireworks are made in China and contain perchlorate.  My family did not go to the fireworks, are children are too small to be up so late.  I watched them on television, Boston, I believe.  I couldn’t help but think of the shells that were falling into the water and polluting the marine life and our drinking water. I wondered about the smoke filled sky and the air quality.  I read an article in Hispanic Business that tipped me off to the environmental hazards of traditional fireworks. This article changed my view of these booming, banging bright fireworks in the sky.

Is it worth cities and communities raising thousands of dollars to buy fireworks from China because they are cheaper?  The environmentally friendlier option is eight times more expensive and smaller communities and towns can’t afford this.  My city, collects donations during the local parade so I’m certain they won’t be opting for the DMD fireworks that contain nitrocellulose, a cotton plant fiber or the nitrogen based option to cause less smoke.  The less friendly option, using perchlorate to add oxygen fuel to into the fireworks and this is a hazardous chemical.  It’s still needed with nitrogen-based fireworks but in much, much smaller quantities verses the carbon-based fireworks.  The EPA tested a small lake in 2007, 14 hours after fireworks were ignited over a small lake in Oklahoma.  They found the levels were 1000 times higher with perchlorate than before. All this pollution for a patriotic celebration, it seems odd?

How about sparklers?  My family has some from last year and besides being a dangerous fire hazard (I know, I know) they say on the box they do not contain magnesium, chlorates or perchlorates.  They’re made in Thailand and who enforces or regulate this? How do I know this is true? I don’t. Will I buy them again, probably not but before I was cautious of chemicals and more aware and educated, I went with the flow and threw stuff in the cart without thinking.  Now, I think. To be green, any shade, is to think. So think about those fireworks next year and whether they look as beautiful now that you know the dangers involved. Think about asking your city to consider fewer fireworks but more environmentally friendly options.  Think about ways to green your holiday next year, now!

Articles credited for this information:  Hispanic Weekly and Live Science

 

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Hello, I’m Sommer and this has been my blogging home since 2007. I’m a juggler of life, a protective mama bear and I enjoy travel, wine, sunshine and good books. I hope that through this site you’ll be able find something that inspires you to live a little greener, healthier and happier. Even if it's just a yummy recipe or a personal story of mine.