Trick or Treat? Unfortunately this time of year is more of a trick than a treat for the environment. From burning an excessive number of candles to keep those Halloween pumpkins lit, to lighting bonfires up and down the country to ‘remember remember the fifth of November’, the next week will send a whole host of harmful pollution into the atmosphere.
Did you know that according to the 2010 Dioxin Inventory, bonfire night emissions accounted for 3.6% of all UK emissions compared to 0.64% from all of the UK’s energy from waste facilities? That’s over 5 times more pollution in one night than the yearly pollution created from energy from waste facilities. Bonfire Night is the undoing of all environmental advances in a single evening.
We understand that you probably won’t want to give up the Halloween and Bonfire Night fun all together, but there are ways that you can help to stem their wicked effects on the environment (and prevent environmentalists coming at you with pitchforks – just kidding.) Here are 6 things you can you can do this year to make a difference…
- When you scrape out your Halloween pumpkin don’t waste the food, use it to make a delicious dish such as pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie.
- Light your Halloween pumpkins using candles made from soy or beeswax as they emit fewer harmful chemicals when burned.
- Attend community Bonfire Night displays rather than lighting your own bonfire. This will help to reduce the amount of bonfires being burnt around the country – and it’s safer.
- If you do build your own bonfire, only use clean, dry garden waste because this will reduce the amount of smoke produced when you set it alight.
- Do not burn any form of plastic on your bonfire because harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and dioxins will be released, which not only pollute the atmosphere but are harmful to your health too.
- Reduce the number of glow sticks you use. Disposable glow sticks are only good for one use and, being made from non-biodegradable plastic, go on to sit in our landfill sites for hundreds of years to come. Switch to using battery powered light-up accessories instead.