With unprecedented events overtaking the manner in which we observe the UK’s annual traditions, we have had to adapt our methods of gathering and celebration.

Take Bonfire Night. As it’s unlikely there will be any fireworks displays or bonfire parties, this year’s Guy Fawkes may seem like it will be a bit of a damp squib. Perhaps not though. Perhaps it’s just a matter of adjusting our attitude. As we’ve learned over the years, unregulated fireworks displays and bonfires have caused untold damage not only to humans, but to animals and the environment too.

If you still intend to celebrate with (not so) wild abandon this 5th November, here are a few helpful guidelines to ensure you’re being kind to the environment (and yourself too, as you’re part of your environment):

According to the Environment Agency, it’s unsafe to burn old furniture, mattresses or even household rubbish. Treated wood, tyres, plastics, rubber and oil can seriously harm health and pollute the environment. Rather burn untreated wood or common garden refuse.*

If you are building a bonfire, it’s advisable to build your bonfire on the day. As their natural habitats dwindle, small mammals like moles and voles move into urban areas. According to Green Impact Sheffield, “garden log piles are hog heaven, providing crucial shelter and food at a time when they’re preparing for hibernation.”

Although eco-friendly fireworks are expensive and hard to come by, a few alternatives will minimise harming the environment. “Generally, white coloured fireworks will have fewer harmful chemicals than the most colourful versions and if you use more of the ground-based ones, like Catherine wheels, there’s less chance of having debris that you can’t find and dispose of safely,” explains energy company Ecotricity.

A last word – always having water on hand when there’s a bonfire is common sense. We would urge you though, if your water cooler were at your workspace, whether that’s at the office or home office, you don’t lug out the water cooler or bottled water to douse the flames. That’s your drinking water, see!

*extracts from an article at The Independent