Going Out Without A Bang

September 2020

Hi All,

I hope all is well at Ours To Save! I just wanted to drop you a pitch for a feature for the coming month, tied in with Bonfire night. Do let me know if it’s of interest or if you’d like any more info.

PITCH: Could 2020 See The Start Of Better Kind Of Fireworks?

For the first time in over a decade, there will be no firework display to ring in the New Year in London – just another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. And, with the virus showing no signs of abating soon, it looks as if a similar fate will befall most bonfire night celebrations on November 5, both in the capital and beyond. But, could our break from pyrotechnics kickstart a healthier relationship with the environment?

Just last year, London’s New Year fireworks created the first air pollution incident of 2020 and previous research has shown that the mixture of bonfires and fireworks on Guy Fawkes night makes it regularly the most polluted day in the year. These toxins are more likely to deplete lung defences than pollution from traffic sources, while residue that falls to the ground can find its way to polluting lakes, rivers and drinking water. While undeniably pretty, fireworks are undeniably bad for the planet.

In this feature I’ll examine the evidence around firework pollution by speaking to experts and researchers such as Dr Gary Fuller, looking at both the scale of the problem and the damage caused. But, more crucially, I’ll look at how this break from the usual displays could lead us to a more sustainable future. I’ll speak to a range of case studies and experts to explore how this year could help us move to newer alternatives, such as  ‘eco-fireworks’ as well as other types of displays, such as the drone show seen in Shanghai to welcome in 2020.

All the best,