Wondering how you can make your bonfire night more environmentally friendly? Here’s some top tips! Don’t forget to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or your team would like to contribute to the blog.
Build a better bonfire:
Bonfires are incredibly bad for air quality. According to The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, bonfires produce more emissions on a single night than those from an entire year of waste incineration. Avoid burning firelighters, oil, rubber, plastics or anything with a chemical coating. Opt instead for natural materials – leaves and other garden waste as well as untreated wood. Make sure they’re dry before you light them!
Watch out for hogs:
With their natural ranges getting smaller and smaller, hedgehogs are increasingly moving into urban gardens. Garden log piles are hog heaven, providing crucial shelter and food at a time when they’re preparing for hibernation. To prevent trapping any unsuspecting creatures, the best thing you can do is to build your bonfire on the day of lighting. Otherwise, relocate your bonfire before you light it!
Ditch the sky lanterns:
While they might look pretty for a few minutes before they disappear, there’s a long list of good reasons not to use sky lanterns. Not only have they been known to start forest fires, they are hazardous to wildlife. Owls have been caught up and killed in the lanterns, and cattle have died after wire debris fell into their feed. As well as this, while many companies claim the body of their lanterns to be biodegradable, the wire frame certainly isn’t!
Opt for a greener fireworks display:
When fireworks explode, they release nasty chemicals into the air which rain down on soil and water. Some of these are toxic metals, such as barium, which can interfere with heart function and breathing in humans. There are Eco-friendly fireworks out there that minimise the amount of toxic chemicals released, but they’re not yet a widespread solution. The best thing you can do is attend a public fireworks show instead of lighting your own – these are usually safer and cheaper and will limit the amount of fireworks being set off on bonfire night!
Stay safe this weekend!