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Environmentalists Call Fireworks ‘Eco-Hazards,’ Sues to Ban July 4th Display in California

By Alana Goodman

June 29th, 2010 2:51 PM

Apparently the “rockets’ red glare” isn’t “green” enough for some environmentalists.

Fourth of July fireworks displays have been deemed “ecologically hazardous” by some eco-warriors, who are urging environmentally-conscious Americans to shun the tradition.

[F]ireworks shows spray out a toxic concoction that rains down quietly into lakes, rivers and bays throughout the country,” wrote the Mother Nature Network’s Russell McLendon on June 30. “Many of the chemicals in fireworks are also persistent in the environment, meaning they stubbornly sit there instead of breaking down.”

McLendon suggested avoiding fireworks and finding other ways to celebrate Independence Day. “The most eco-friendly alternative to fireworks is to forgo explosions altogether – go to a parade, go fishing, grill out, or help out,” he wrote.

According to the writer, those stubborn traditionalists who insist on seeing “the sky festively illuminated” can always “try a laser light show” – which McLendon says is the eco-friendly – albeit, lame – way to celebrate the Fourth.

The Mother Nature Network is an environmental news service that covers “the broadest scope of environmental and social responsibility issues on the internet.” It was founded in 2008 by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. Its advisory board includes former Weather Channel star Heidi Cullen and Barbara Pyle, the co-creator and producer of the eco-cartoon Captain Planet and the Planeteers.”