Fireworks - can they be ethical?

With November 5th just round the corner, what better time to discuss the ethics of fireworks which now seem to be used so extensively to set modern weddings off with a bang.

Apart from the shear waste of money which goes up in smoke at the touch of a fuse, one has to wonder at the cost to the health and safety of the people who make these often amazing and extraordinarily entertaining explosives, almost exclusively in China.

Much of the fireworks industry in China involves illegal child labour and, in 2001, the Chinese government blamed a horrific explosion which killed at least 41 children on the imaginary attack of a "madman". It was only after villagers pressed the government to acknowledge that local school officials had been forcing students to produce fireworks illegally to pay for their tuition that the government changed their story. Accidents had largely been ignored by the Chinese government or blamed on other circumstances, but since a further series of explosions plagued fireworks factories in the summer of 2003, these safety issues have not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. Since then the Chinese fireworks industry has been the subject of intense scrutiny and the China Labour Bulletin has now set forth several excellent recommendations to help push the Chinese Fireworks industry toward creating a safer work environment, but there is a long way to go with much of the industry going underground to avoid complying with the new laws.

I expect the most ethical part of the whole Chinese fireworks industry would be the shipping which is generally done by sea (could this be because flying them about the world could be rather an explosive issue...)

So what's the alternative?

Published: 30-10-2007

Published By: Rosie


Wedding planning can be a daunting prospect, but it needn't be. Just take a deep breath and rummage through our pages of information, advice and useful tips for throwing an eco friendly wedding. We'll take you through the planning process from start to finish. Have a wonderful journey!


Get naturally green wedding ideas, tips, DIY how-to's and inspiration through the seasons including decor, flowers, food and rituals.