What remains of New Year's Eve
The old year is gone, the new year has started. To celebrate this, we usually use massive amounts of fireworks. But now after the first day of the new year is almost over, I'm asking myself: What are the remains of New Year's Eve?
Massive amounts of firework waste can be found everywhere, even after a first clean up. This is especially bad in certain protected areas (nature reserves and lakes came to my mind), where this waste can have devastating effects. And even if everything is cleaned up correctly, we are still leaving behind massive amounts of litter, which can not be recycled due to toxic substances contained in the fireworks.
In addition to the litter, the direct effects of the fireworks can't be ignored. The excessive noises combined with the smell of burned gunpowder by the fireworks cause panic in pets and wildlife. I know of cases where pets have to be put on medication during New Year's Eve because of increased stress.
In Addition, massive amounts of unhealthy particulate matter is released each year (the German Enviroment Agency estimates around 4.200 tons each year).
All of this leaves me with the simple question: Is it worth?
Is this the end of everything fun?
I don't think so, but it is a good oportunity to rethink old traditions. Do we individually really need to launch fireworks? What is really important on New Year's Eve? For me, the most important thing is making meaningfull connections with friends. So no, I don't think we really need these massive amounts of fireworks.
But even if we don't want to miss a spectacle on New Year's Eve, there are viable alternatives: Why not have a laser show instead of fireworks? Or at least a centralised firework instead of indiviual fireworks? Or maybe there are even better ideas we haven't thought about yet...
If everyone contains oneself a little bit - like e.g. at fireworks on New Year's Eve - we can have a much brighter future. That's what I am believing.