How To Have An Eco-friendly Bonfire Night 2022
Halloween is over, the nights are getting darker and colder, and Bonfire Night is fast approaching – who’s excited?
This popular event is a tradition within the UK with bonfires, fireworks displays, sparklers and sky lanterns all being lit for the colourful night.
We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, it’s important to consider the impact that Guy Fawkes night has on the environment and wildlife. Within this guide, we’ll be discussing how you can have an eco-friendly bonfire night 2022.
Don’t worry, your fun-filled night can still be sustainable and animal friendly!
Remember, remember the 5th of November…
How Does Bonfire Night Impact The Environment?
Bonfire Night is a special time of year that many of us look forward to.
It’s a time for wrapping up warm and coming together to enjoy bright coloured explosions in the night sky with a hot chocolate and a sparkler.
This year, the event falls on a Saturday which makes it the perfect day of the week to enjoy a nice get-together!
Although, there’s no denying that this annual day has a huge impact on our environment.
From the damaging chemicals, non-recyclable rubbish, damage to wildlife, noise levels which can disturb and scare both animals and people, as well as the polluting particulates that remain in the air.
Research suggests 5 -14% of UK dioxin emissions are produced from Bonfire Night, with most believed to come from bonfires rather than fireworks.
The most common impact on animal welfare on Bonfire Night is on hibernating animals, such as hedgehogs, as they live within garden waste and wood which is used for fires.
It’s not just wildlife than can be frightened either, our pets can become scared and anxious due to the high level of noise.
How Does Bonfire Night Impact People?
Bonfire Night can also be dangerous for us too.
Did you know over 1000 people receive treatment every year for firework injuries whether it’s burns, debris in the eyes from bonfires or fireworks or even smoke inhalation?
The high noise levels can even cause anxiety and distress for many people including those with sensory issues, disabilities, those who suffer from PTSD and other mental health conditions as well as elderly people.
Whilst we’re not trying to spoil the fun, it’s important to look at the reality of the effects of Bonfire Night on the environment, animals and our health.
With a few simple changes, you can still have a great Bonfire Night and reduce your impact at this time of year. Find out below!
Ways To Have An Eco-friendly Bonfire Night
Here are 7 of the best ways students can enjoy an eco-friendly Bonfire Night for 2022 – you’re welcome!
1. Attend An Organised Event
If you still want to experience the magic of Bonfire Night (we don’t blame you it’s a fun-filled time) one of the best ways to have an eco-friendlier time is to go to an organised event within your university city or town.
Going to a public firework display or bonfire means you’ll reduce the risk of any upset to neighbourhood pets as well as ensuring that fireworks don’t land anywhere they shouldn’t and cause any damage.
After all, it’s scary lighting fireworks off and the displays taking place in your local area will probably be more impressive anyway.
Getting together for a large display result in fewer emissions than tons of small events.
Plus, many are organised for local charities and businesses, so rather than spending money chipping in for a box of fireworks, you can spend less money for a good cause – we’ll take that!
Public displays are properly cleaned up the day after too, so it saves you the faff and means that there will be less rubbish left lying around.
2. Make Sure To Burn Natural Materials
If you’re planning a nice evening with your housemates sitting outside around the bonfire with a few drinks getting cosy, then firstly be careful as fires can be super dangerous.
Be wary of where you’re lighting the bonfire too, as you don’t want to damage anything in your garden and risk losing your deposit.
It’s best to get a fire pit and split between those that you live with.
Secondly, if you’re going to be burning a bonfire yourself, make sure you only use natural materials like wood, cardboard, paper and leaves. It’s also important to ensure that these materials are dry before putting them on the fire!
Burning materials like household rubbish not only causes pollution but it’s also bad for our health due to the harmful chemicals that manmade materials like plastic or rubber can give off.
Whilst it might be tempting to throw some of your household waste on the bonfire, it’s not a good idea.
3. Buy Eco-friendly Fireworks
We all love a Catherine Wheel, but as we stated earlier, fireworks can cause a lot of pollution in the air and release harmful chemicals and smoke that can stay in our air for days after Bonfire Night.
Plus, many fireworks, sparklers and firecrackers are not biodegradable either which can have a big environmental impact – not good!
Instead, if you’re looking to buy fireworks have a search for some eco-friendly fireworks and sparklers online.
Whilst they may be more expensive and harder to get your hands on, they’re much more eco-friendly.
If you’re not able to get your hands on any, opt for a white-only fireworks instead as experts state they have fewer harmful chemicals than colourful ones.
Aside from eco-friendly fireworks, you can also get quiet fireworks which can help reduce noise pollution levels.
Whilst they’re not completely silent, they do produce less noise than a regular firework and are ideal if you don’t want all the whooshes and bangs that come with traditional fireworks.
Not only is this good for animals who can be scared from the noises, but also people too as we mentioned earlier!
4. Don’t Set Off Sky Lanterns
Sky lanterns are another common sight on Bonfire Night which you should stay clear of all-together if we’re honest.
Whilst these may look pretty being set off into the night sky, the impact on the environment is huge.
When setting these lanterns off, you don’t know where they’re going to end up so they can pose a risk to wildlife when they end up falling as well as causing the risks of fires spreading.
There are sustainable sky lanterns which are bio-degradable which you could source out.
However, we think the best way to have a cute outdoor experience is by decorating your garden with static lanterns, fairy lights or other outdoor lighting.
You’ll still have super cosy vibes outside, without posing any risk to wildlife getting caught in the lantern or a fire hazard so it’s a win, win really!
5. Make Sure Your Not Putting Animals At Risk
Whilst you don’t have any pets to worry about whilst living in a student house or flat, it’s important to still be wary about animals on Bonfire Night.
You may live in an area with neighbours who do have pets, so be wary of this when setting off fireworks.
As we mentioned earlier, Bonfire Night poses a big risk to hedgehogs, rabbits and other small animals who can take shelter in bonfires.
So, always check beforehand before lighting that there’s no cosy creatures inside!
This is especially important if you’ve built your bonfire in advance, such as a few days before as it’s probably an inviting place for small animals.
6. Clean Up After Yourself
No matter what you do this Bonfire Night 2022, make sure you clean up after yourself whether it’s ensuring you dispose of your fireworks and sparklers safely by leaving them in a bucket of water for at least 20 minutes if not overnight if you can.
You should also make sure you don’t just dump your fireworks into your recycling bin as this can be hazardous to waste collection teams in your area.
Another eco-friendly and important safety tip is to always ensure that you’ve put your bonfire out when the night is coming to an end, to avoid fire’s spreading!
Remember, your mess doesn’t just clear up on its own in your student garden, so make sure that you sweep up any debris the day after.
7. Have A Fire-Free Evening
Our final tip to have an eco-friendly Bonfire Night 2022, is to host a get-together without fireworks or bonfires.
Why not have some friends over and have a few drinks, a takeaway and light some sparklers? They’re much better for the environment and much cheaper too.
You can outside with some blankets and watch the displays taking place in your area, which means no faffing around for you and you can still celebrate.
Or pop on some cosy films and toast some marshmallows for the ultimate cute evening in your student accommodation!
Some ideas from TikTok include using a slow cooker to make hot chocolate with tons of different toppings to choose from like mini marshmallows, sprinkles, chocolate and whipped cream – mmm!
Bonfire Night 2022 can still go off with a bang without impacting the environment too much, and as we mentioned earlier it’s on a Saturday this year so what better time to unwind with your pals and have a nice time?
Enjoy whatever you’re doing and remember to take our tips into account when celebrating!
A cup of coffee is the key to fuelling yourself up to crack on with work! Don’t you agree? Have a read of our post on Best Coffee And Hot Drinks Deals For Students.