How to Have An Eco Bonfire Night

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the environment. I’ve been thinking about holidays and other seasonal celebrations, as they tend to produce a lot of waste.

Red and gold fireworks light up the night sky in streams and sparks
Fireworks - Photo Credit - Ashleigh Nicole

One that I hadn’t thought about till I realized it was just around the corner, was bonfire night. Every year I have attended bonfire night celebrations, sometimes multiple ones. I’ve enjoyed them in private back gardens, and in public displays. I love gathering around a fire pit, some form of mulled beverage in one, a hot dog in the other, watching fireworks shoot up into the sky, wowing us with mesmerizing patterns.

Although technically one night of the year – even though there are those that choose to start setting fireworks off from October, and beyond bonfire night – it’s incredibly harmful to the environment.

The black night sky is lit up with orange and gold fireworks
Fireworks - Photo Credit - Ashleigh Nicole

According to Green Impact, bonfires produce more emissions in a single night, than a year of waste incineration. On top of that, fireworks release toxic chemicals into the air, which then make their way into the soil, where a lot of our food is grown. Then think about the amount of waste that is left over, lying in fields and the middle of the road! Not good at all.

Green lines of fireworks light up the black night sky
Fireworks - Photo Credit - Ashleigh Nicole

Fireworks. Photo Credit – Ashleigh Nicole

How can we have a more sustainable bonfire night?

It’s easy! Follow these steps!

1. The best way is to attend a public display, rather than having a private one. These events will often have the best quality products, will burn their bonfires responsibly, and a few larger bonfires is better loads of smaller ones.

2. If you can, source environmentally friendly fireworks. These aren’t something I’ve come across so far myself, but it’s certainly something I’ll look into in the future when it comes down to bonfire night.

3. Be conscious of what you are burning. Avoid plastics, things with toxic coatings and chemicals, firelighters. Looks instead of natural sources, dried, untreated wood – and of course watch out for wildlife! It’s better to build your bonfire during the day!

4. Don’t use sky lanterns. They are very harmful to the environment, can cause fires, can harm wildlife. They’re really bad.

5. Finally, if you’re having a bit of a do, make your treats and mulled ciders/wines. You can get the whole family involved, and reduce waste as well!

These tips are ones that can often be applied to all situations. Remember making informed changes will make a big difference!

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