Festivals come with lots of joy, culture, traditions, and celebrations. Having fun during the celebration is often accompanied by bursting crackers. The sparkling and fizzing fireworks add on to the beauty of the festive season. Especially Diwali, the festival of lights, where bursting crackers is not just a celebration but also a tradition.
Well, however, bursting crackers isn’t an eco-friendly way of having fun for a few earth warriors. For us, the hunt for fireworks emitting little or no smoke has intensified over the past few years. Thanks to technology, there is finally something which can help us have guilt-free fun. A project led by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-NEERI), India has come up with a formulation for green crackers. They are designed to have 30% less emission.
These fireworks have additives or substances which help in reducing emissions and suppressing dust. They are made using less harmful raw materials. Unlike conventional firecrackers, green crackers do not contain chemicals like lithium, arsinium, barium, and lead.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India misled the Supreme Court and, in its fight against pollution, eventually recommended banning barium nitrate, which could actually benefit the sale of green crackers. The CPCB also felt that bursting joined crackers produced “huge solid waste.”
— Central Pollution Control Board (@CPCB_OFFICIAL) October 21, 2019
Green crackers actually release water vapours which restrict dust from rising. Thus, they are also named Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL). QR codes and certification labels on green cracker packages by CSIR help customers to scan and identify counterfeits.
Though they do not cut down pollution totally, they help in reducing emissions. Along with the sound and colours, even the cost of green crackers remain the same as conventional ones. With Diwali being round the corner, the demand for green crackers has risen in India.
Apart from green firecrackers, there is another alternative: e-crackers. The CSIR-CEERI in Pilani is testing e-crackers or electric fireworks.
Manufacturers say it won’t sound like real firecrackers as there would just be audio recordings of firecrackers. But it does add to the celebration. With increasing environmental consciousness, I truly hope such alternatives become a hit.