The 4th of July is rightly enjoyed as a time of fun, family, and celebration. It’s summer, burgers and hot dogs are on the grill, beautiful displays are lighting up the sky, and the nation’s birth is commemorated. And hey, a day off isn’t too shabby either. As with anything, there are a few things to bear in mind to ensure your Independence Day festivities are more safe, especially if you’ll be taking them into wild places.
Don’t Bring Fireworks to Wild Places
Fireworks are a fantastic show against the evening sky, bursting with color and sound. The best place to enjoy them, if you can, is at a public display; the dazzling theatrics are all the more grand, the deployment is managed, and less fireworks are set off without losing any enjoyment. More to the point, fireworks are uniquely disruptive and dangerous in wild places: foliage dried by summer heat is exceptionally combustible, and wildlife is more than just startled by the exhibition. Terrified animals will become disoriented, becoming lost in their panic, abandoning their nests, or running into traffic.
Use Eco-Friendly Fireworks
If you do buy your own fireworks, try to find eco-friendly versions. Besides the risk of wildfire and panicking animals, traditional fireworks typically create non-biodegradable litter and pollute the surrounding air and water with contaminants leftover from charcoal, sulphur, potassium nitrate, and heavy metal coloring agents. Options will vary depending on where you shop, but look for fireworks that avoid some or all of these ingredients and that employ a clean-burning, nitrogen-based fuel.
Pick Up After Yourself
It was true when we were kids, and it’s still true today: it’s always good to pick up after yourself. Gather up any plastic utensils, food wrappers, bottles, or used fireworks after you’re done for the evening and properly dispose of them. It may feel like a hassle to track down all the bits and pieces of used fireworks in the dark, but it’s one of the best things you can do if you plan on setting them off personally instead of going to a public display. Not only do most fireworks not biodegrade, they’re also choking hazards for wildlife.