Replace Chicago Firework Shows with Sustainable Alternatives

Replace Chicago Firework Shows with Sustainable Alternatives

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Chicago Fireworks Ban started this petition to Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and

Each year on July 4, people in the United States gather for firework displays to commemorate Independence Day. As they erupt in the sky, few people notice the frightened geese and squirrels fleeing erratically and abandoning their babies, or the lost and injured runaway dogs. Or where the firework debris lands and how it impacts our atmosphere. Many people, on the other hand, do notice the sounds from the explosive bangs of the fireworks that disrupt all neighborhoods at all hours. How many of these people are war veterans or have autism or are first responders trying to rest before a shift? Block Club Chicago reports a 736% increase in noise complaint calls about fireworks this year compared to 2019. It's time to put an end to firework displays and give our city a cleaner and safer way to celebrate.

Dangerous chemicals called perchlorates are used in fireworks and remain in the air, water, and soil for several weeks. The heavy metals used for their coloration remain even longer. The EPA considers perchlorates "likely carcinogenic". On a windy evening, these toxic chemicals could drift dozens of miles and land in farms and rivers, contaminating our food and water supply. The smoke from fireworks can get lodged in people's lungs, posing immediate danger to those with asthma or chemical sensitivities. The majority of fireworks in the US come from China where they are manufactured by children ages 5-14. Many US cities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on 4th of July firework displays. According to the Navy Pier Inc.'s federal financial disclosure report, one year they paid $473,000 to Melrose Pyrotechnics, their third highest-paid independent contractor. It in unclear whether or not taxpayer dollars were used, as Navy Pier Inc. received about $2.7 million in government grants, which was about 10 percent of their total revenue that year. Instead of allowing these costly, ephemeral spectacles, the city should invest in ecologically sustainable alternatives like laser light shows, similar to the projection display on the Merchandise Mart building on the Chicago River.




Our progressive city has an advantageous shot at rethinking how we celebrate from an ecologically sustainable perspective. We are in a climate crisis right now and there’s a firework ban in Illinois. We have a chance to influence the rest of the nation by investing in more eco-friendly displays like Art on the Mart. Our city’s one-of-a-kind architecture deserves to be displayed in unique and awe-inspiring ways like projection mapping. Chicago can and should employ its artists and craftsmen to bring people together and make our city the envy of other major cities, ultimately putting an end to all fireworks.

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At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!