the most polluted night

When December 31 strikes midnight, more than half the globe celebrates the arrival of a new year. In addition to hugs, toasts and good wishes, take care of us only with our loved ones and respecting sanitary measures, millions of tons of pyrotechnic material explode in the sky of different countries of the world, leaving the air full of polluting particles.

Year-end pollution

The outlook is deteriorating as countries still want to top their pyrotechnic show by adding more and more fireworks.

And this year I don’t think that will be the exception since a lot of people will want to blow something up to leave 2020 behind.

It is because of the huge amount of fireworks that January 1st is one of the days with the worst air quality rates in all 365 days of the year.

So said Marcelo Mena, director of the U. Andrés Bello Sustainability Center in Chile. “The highest environmental contamination is inevitably due to population level, not industry,” Mena said. While this claim is certainly debatable, in the case of fireworks celebrations, we can prove it.

El académico señaló que en Estados Unidos el 4 de julio es otro de los días en que el aire se encuentra en peores condiciones, ya que ese día cada estado de EE.UU utiliza millions de fuegos de artificio para commemorar el aniversario de la independencia del Country.

Por otro lado, la semana de navidad también already enorme saldo de contamination, ya que la gran congestión vehicular pour las compras already en pésimas condiciones el aire y la gran cantidad de papeles de regalos, cajas y plastics genera toneladas de basura, como commentábamos There are days.

According to Cristian Araneda, professor at the School of Environmental Engineering of the Faculty of Ecology and Natural Resources of UNAB and executive director of Chile Residuos, the tons of waste could be reduced, or it would be more ecological to recycle the majority of possible objects; wrapping presents with newspaper, separating glass, plastic waste or shredding garbage so that it generates less volume.

Although these tips They will not reduce pollution by a huge percentage if children learn to recycle and are made aware of the environment so that the outlook is better in the future.


Alternatives to the pollution caused by New Year’s Eve fireworks and pyrotechnics

Here we make a list of alternatives to fireworks. Obviously, and even though it has sometimes been labeled as such, balloons are not an alternative but rather something possibly worse, as we mentioned in the article on the environmental impact and how much the balloons contaminate.

In the city of Aspen, United States, on July 4, 2018, it was decided replace fireworks with a drone show. This could also be considered wasteful, but keep in mind that there are currently drones for this type of task that run entirely on solar power.

The idea was taken from the 2018 South Korean Winter Olympics, and after the success of Aspen, it was picked up by many events as a replacement for fireworks.

So far, the Aspen initiative has been replicated, the reason for which was not pollution but forest fire prevention, it has been copied and replicated by many other sites.

Something similar happens with the paper balloons with a candle or a wick with lit oil which in China comes out every year in the celebrations after 15 days of the Chinese New Year. This tradition is also celebrated in other places as far away as different from China, such as Brazil, Colombia, Russia or Argentina. In some regions, such as Brazil and parts of Colombia, it is prohibited due to the possibility of generating forest fires.

Also they shows with water games and lights, where the lights run on solar energy and the water is reused, ie it works in a closed circuit, they could be a good alternative. Fireworks, in addition to being polluting and noisy, and harming birds and mammals, are extremely expensive.

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