New Year 2020 Reflections

As Earthlings we find ourselves at a very difficult point in time. A time that requires us to change. Change might come difficult for people who love traditions. There is something soothing and comforting about doing things the same way every year. It promises some certainty in an uncertain life. It creates a feeling of stability. Yet, as humans we cannot continue living on Earth the same way that we are currently are. We are in a state of Climate Emergency. A time that requires major changes for every single one of us. That is not to say that all traditions are bad but there many which have become toxic for our Earth and life and with which we must break up with in order to move on. But where to start? Right now, right here – and first with yourself.

It is the end of 2019 and millions will greet the new decade while watching explosions of fireworks fill the night sky.

Every colour is a different combination of chemicals and a different death sentence for the animals, birds and nature in the area. It poisons and pollutes rivers, lakes and enters our water system. It pollutes the air with tiny metal particles. The explosions traumatise animals and kill birds. Everything that goes up must at some point come down again. The tiny air particle pollution caused by the explosions are far more toxic for our lungs than pollution caused by traffic. Why we are so fascinated by something that is so destructive?

Most people don’t understand how deeply sad fireworks can make other people. Personally, I can say that for me, it truly is a heart-breaking sight to see the explosions blasting poison and pollution into the air, the loud bangs and worst of all the clapping and cheering crowds. Some don’t know the negative and devastating impacts of fireworks, others do know but ignore the facts and still participate and support these colourful poisons. What about you? Do you choose to distance yourself from the truth? ​  

When I was younger and didn’t know how toxic and polluting fireworks are, I enjoyed watching them as well, but that changed when I found out the truth and read about the facts. We need to start valuing the truth. We need to start questioning and changing opinions. Just because something has supposedly “always been done” does not mean that it needs to continue happening. We live in uncertain and new times. Like it or not if we want to continue living on Earth – things need to change rapidly. Our generation and future generations have a right to live. Animals have a right to live. We have the right to clean water and clean air. We have the right to a planet worth living on. Please, do not take that for granted nor dare take it away from us. This is a message for all Earthlings: both young and old need to change their habits and views on fireworks. This is a new decade.

Every little positive change count. You have a choice and your choice has an impact.

So, please: don’t shoot fireworks into the air. Don’t go to watch and support them. Speak up about it. Start changing and stop doing it: Animals are dying. Toxic micropollutants are entering the air and leading to airborne lung diseases. Rivers and groundwater systems are being polluted. Toxic waste is created. All for a few seconds of colourful explosions. Is it worth it? Is that the way how we want to start a New Year? It’s not the way I will start 2020. What about you?