7 Fireworks Substitutions to Use This New Year’s Eve
by Adrian Dybwad
Ready to ring in the New Year? While many of us look forward to setting new goals and ambitions, we also bring forward some of the same traditions. But not all of them are worth keeping each year.
Fireworks, for example, are one such tradition being phased out. Many cities, like Amsterdam and others around the world, are already banning them due to the environmental, psychological, and physical harm they can cause in our society.
But what can you do instead?
Well, if you’re looking for a way to enjoy New Year’s Eve without fireworks, check out these 7 fireworks substitutes. They’re just as pretty and festive but won’t pollute the air or harm wildlife.
Do Fireworks Impact Air Quality?
The answer is yes, fireworks affect air quality. They produce emissions that can contain sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter like soot. Due to the finer size of these pollutants, they can cause respiratory irritation and other health problems.
In one study from the journal Atmospheric Environment, researchers looked at the levels of particulate matter during celebrations like Independence Day. The results found that particulate matter levels were highest at night and returned to normal by noon the next day.
Even so, the best way to keep the air levels healthy is by avoiding fireworks in the first place.
What To Do Instead of Fireworks for New Year’s
Nowadays, we have plenty of options to use instead of fireworks to celebrate the New Year and still have fun doing it. Whether you’re a community organizer or just throwing a party in your backyard, here’s a list of our 7 favorite fireworks alternatives to inspire you:
#1 - Host a Laser Light Show
First, the closest thing to a fireworks show is a laser light show. While some lasers can be powerful and dangerous, commercially available ones are much safer. You can even hire companies to organize them and provide the equipment if you want to host a more significant event in your city.
Here’s an excellent example of the light shows in Singapore:
#2 - Plan a Drones Show
Another ambitious firework replacement is using drones. While this is a bit expensive, it’s a fun alternative for cities or groups looking to organize more sustainable New Year’s events. Drones can be easily programmed to create a fun, family-friendly show that will wow everyone.
Here's an excellent example from Seoul back in 2021:
#3 - Use Party Poppers & Noisemakers
Next up, you can swap out the fireworks for party poppers instead. Get your family and friends together, then ring in the new year by banging on some pots and pans or using other noisemakers to create that same feeling.
This can give you that same feeling of excitement—without causing air pollution.
#4 - Decorate with String Lights
Another choice is to go all out on your festive lights. The McHenry House is an excellent example to take inspiration from. Every year, their family puts on a detailed light show featuring the whole family. Even the kids get to help out!
Watch it here:
#5 - Celebrate with Glowsticks
For small events with your kids, fireworks are expensive and dangerous. Instead, celebrate with safer options like glowsticks! While it’s not the same as a show, dancing in the dark with glowsticks is still a fun, family-friendly activity to do as you countdown to midnight.
#6 – Set Up Lanterns in Your Backyard
Another way to celebrate is by setting up lanterns in your backyard and hanging up outdoor decor. You can even use mason jars and add in battery-powered candles. That way, you create a warm natural light without using real flames.
Plus, you’ll avoid creating particulate matter in the environment.
#7 – Watch Fireworks Online
Finally, one of the closest options to a real fireworks show is a virtual one! Looking up previous years of fireworks as you snuggle up in front of the TV.
For example, in Canada, they host the Celebration of Light and you can find plenty of videos of the competition from previous years. The international fireworks competition attracts countries from around the world, and it’s one of the best shows you can see.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to mean polluting the air with particulate matter. There are many fun and safe alternatives to fireworks, from family-friendly options like glowsticks to high-tech laser light shows.
If you want to be part of the solution and make your community healthier, one way is by investing in air quality monitors from PurpleAir. With precise, real-time data about your local air quality, you can make informed decisions about how to stay safe and healthy during high pollution levels.
Have a happy new year!'
Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map. or join PurpleAir's mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home.
Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.