[Ed. Note: For more information, visit Stop Fireworks.]
From Drumming Instead
Drumming Instead is a grassroots project, which grew out of a concern for our world and its inhabitants, along with a desire to continue some form of celebration instead of fireworks.
Many of us have fond memories of our youth and being taken to watch fireworks, whether that be at special events or holiday celebrations. We may have similar memories that have continued well into adulthood.
With reports of the devastating results of human choices on our environment, it is very clear that we need to make far better choices from now on. One of those choices is to replace fireworks with drumming.
Fireworks utilize our natural resources, basically, for entertainment. This form of entertainment is a luxury we can no longer afford. In addition to using resources, the fireworks pollute the air, ground, and water. They also create noise pollution: they create unnaturally harsh explosive sounds, which frighten, even terrorize, wild and domestic animals. The highly sensitive hearing of non-human animals may be damaged by the explosive sounds. Firework debris, which ends up in our streams, lakes, and oceans, may be consumed by marine animals, which could result in sickness or death.
In addition, there are health concerns. There are often increases in reports of asthma attacks around the times of fireworks, not to mention the direct injuries, even deaths, caused by fireworks (there are thousands of fireworks-related injuries annually in the U.S.).
Fireworks are also responsible for the fire damage caused by the thousands of fires they cause annually.
As the dominant species on this planet, we humans have an inherent responsibility to make better choices for this world. We can no longer make selfish choices for our own entertainment at the expense of the planet and its inhabitants.
The tradition of fireworks actually began in China, where they would burn green bamboo at New Years. The crackling noise and exploding air pockets were believed to scare away evil spirits. Over time, this tradition evolved into the use of fireworks.
Our wish is to replace the tradition of fireworks (which many recognize as obsolete) with community drumming. This could be in the form of drumming circles or drumming parades/marches, etc. Families, neighborhoods, or entire cities can gather with their drumsfor special occasions. The drums could range from small bongo drums to large Taiko drums. Instead of just being observers, everyone present has the opportunity to be a participant. While our focus is drumming, other wooden percussion instruments could be used, such as wood blocks.
As an additional step toward being a good steward for the planet and its inhabitants, when purchasing a new drum or drum head, consider a synthetic drum head.