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Fireworks display on Guy Fawkes night
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One-minute guide to a greener Guy Fawkes night

Dearbhla Crosse

3rd November, 2010

Tips on maximising the enjoyment and minimising the disturbance of Guy Fawkes Night...

1, Fireworks contain a nasty concoction of toxic chemicals, from lead, barium, chromium, dioxins and even carbon monoxide as well as particle-filled smoke which irritates the lungs. Those planning a fireworks display (whether public or private) can use ‘blackboxx environmentally friendly fireworks', a reloadable, fuseless fireworks battery, which can help reduce the use of raw materials as well as your carbon footprint. 

2, If you have to use conventional fireworks, avoid multi-coloured products as these contain the most chemicals

3, Noise from fireworks frightens pets so make sure you keep them indoors.

4, Attend a public firework display rather than having your own as it will only add to the pollution. If not, you can host a bonfire at your house with friends, which makes for a good party too. Stock up on organic wine and cider and you can make pumpkin soup using up the leftovers from Halloween. Jamie Oliver's easy to make recipe does the trick.

5, If you are going to have a bonfire make sure that you set it up in an area away from shrubbery and wildlife. Also try and build it on the Friday as if left for longer than a few days, woodland creatures such as hedgehogs nestle inside the dry piles of wood to hibernate for the winter.

6, Get rid of built up garden waste by sticking it on the fire and only use untreated wood. Avoid plastics, household rubbish, aerosols, rubber tyres or anything containing foam or paint as they produce toxic fumes.

7. Blow Lights are great alternatives to sparklers as a means of entertainment for children. The Blow Light has a tiny wind generator and is powered by blowing on the rotor which then displays blue and green LED lights.

Dearbhla Crosse is a freelance journalist

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