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Having A Pollution-Free Bonfire Night

Posted on by Kirsty

Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes Night, November 5th, whatever you want to call it – it’s great fun. One of the rare times of year when rules seem to slip and health and safety takes a back seat – there are very few people who don’t enjoy the warm glow of a bonfire and the “ooh, ahh” of a fireworks display.

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There’s a lot of fun to be had standing out under the stars with family and friends on a cold November’s night – a rare treat in today’s TV and computer-centric world. Amazingly through, less than a third of adults take part in any bonfire activity in the UK, although that third do spend up to £300million on it, according to some surveys.


Still, despite the seemingly universal joy that comes from fireworks, there are a few downsides to November 5th, as we’ve been looking into.


How To Minimise Air Pollution


Big fires, public explosions and unhealthy food – Bonfire Night is a welcome break from the normal constraints of society, and a much-needed opportunity to get warm in November. That’s not to say, of course, that all of the rules go out the window, despite what some people seem to think.


Bonfires, to many, seem to represent an opportunity to get rid of unwanted furniture and garden waste that’s been hanging around. Essentially just legalised fly tipping, people throw all sorts into their bonfires, often causing more damage than they would have if they’d actually fly tipped it.


More air pollution is caused on Bonfire Night in the UK than is produced in a whole year from all of the country’s waste incinerators – a genuinely startling fact – and in 2010 Bonfire Night alone accounted for 3.6% of all UK emissions.


This staggering amount of pollution is caused mostly by people burning unsuitable items on their fires. Treated and painted wood, as well as fabrics and chemical waste can release harmful substances into the air when burnt – whilst burning damp garden waste produces smoke which traps the pollution at ground level, increasing the risk of you and your guests being exposed.


Not only do bonfires help make the world a smoggier place, but fireworks can also seriously affect air quality. Fireworks displays can dramatically increase the amount of metals and chemicals in the air, and in big cities such as London these can reach dangerous levels.


It is possible to get less toxic fireworks, but these are not in widespread use and will probably cost considerably more than normal ones. The best way to keep your Bonfire Night both healthy and environmentally friendly is to attend an organised event instead of hosting your own– meaning only safe wood is used and you won’t be contributing to the UK’s total number of fireworks yourself.


Staying Safe On Bonfire Night


Bonfire Night is a great chance to get family and friends together – with fire, fireworks and food offering something for everyone. With a lot of people in one slightly dangerous place, you will need to make sure that everyone is kept safe and that your event runs without a hitch.


To help keep all of your guests safe, it is important to follow the Firework Code. There are various versions of the code that have been put together over the years, but the RoSPA provides one, as well as lots of other tips on how to stay safe around fireworks –


Generally, not just because of the pollution we spoke about above, it’s a good idea not to put any chemicals on your bonfire. Using only clean, dry wood will minimise the risk of sparks, bursts of flame and accidents, whilst also cutting down on smoke at ground level.


How AMA Can Help


If you do host a Bonfire Night party, whether big or small, AMA Waste offers services that can help. With skip hire and site clearance available to help tidy away the aftermath of your party, right through to portable toilet hire to help accommodate guests, we provide all you need to ensure everything runs smoothly.


To find out more about everything AMA Waste offers and how we can help you to arrange a perfect Bonfire Night bash, get in touch by calling 0845 4757 934 or clicking the contact button on our website.


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