For a New Year party that's safe and eco-friendly, try paint and confetti

A New Year's Celebration is hardly complete without fireworks.

Those blazing, colorful explosions in the sky certainly make the countdown to the next 365 days more memorable.

But while the spectacles that fireworks create are undeniably photogenic, the scenes they leave behind are the exact opposite.

Aside from leaving many people injured and hurt, New Year's fireworks also leave the streets littered with firecracker wrappers, and the air stale with smoke so that what we have on our hands the first day of the New Year is a big mess to clean up.

Related story: DSWD Manila offering kid's toys in exchange for firecrackers

According to the environmental group EcoWaste Coalition, which analyzed samples of 20 popular fireworks brands, these new year's staples also release toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases that not only pollute the atmosphere but also affect peoples' vital organs when inhaled.

For a safer New Year's celebration that's kinder to the environment, you may want to pass on the pyrotechnics and take a look at some fireworks alternatives.

Rhythm and dance

The Department of Health (DOH) has been a staunch anti-fireworks advocate, and last year, they even released a CD with firecracker sounds as "the safest way to welcome the New Year."

Goodbye Paputok, which has the appearance of the illegal Goodbye Philippines firecracker, contains a CD recording of the sounds of various firecrackers and fireworks.

This year, DOH assistant secretary Eric Tayag has been channeling his inner Psy to promote Gangnam Style, or dancing, in general, as an alternative way to join the new year revelries.

Also read: NDRRMC to go on red alert for New Year's Eve

But if the ubuquitous horse dance has already gotten under your skin or you can't dance to save your life, there are still other ways to make the countdown to 2013 more exciting.

If ear-splitting noise is your choice for heralding 2013 with a bang, there are whistles, party horns or torotots, or you can even get creative a la Stomp and play a beat on pots and pans.

The Daily Green, an online guide to green living, suggested using the occasion as an opportunity to recycle by making your own noisemakers with old pie tins or cans and dried beans.

Related story: Sky lanterns a silent New Year's delight that can cause fires

You could also opt to karaoke all night the Pinoy way.

The collective sound of guests belting out the chorus of "Basang Basa sa Ulan" with gusto and the rest of the party cheering them on might just be enough to replicate the thunderous boom of fireworks.

Just make sure you don't annoy the neighbors—better yet, ask them to join in the fun.

Colorful creations

Confetti, of course, is one great alternative.

The messy explosion of color is akin to a fireworks display, except this one is safer, and can be easier to clean up.

The Daily Green also proposed making homemade confetti with recycled paper, which would be the perfect chance to put those dusty stacks of scratch paper to good use.

Also read: Keep your pets stress-free during New Year revelry

Or, if it's that explosion of color you want, how about a paint party?

Just ask your guests to come in clothes they wouldn't mind getting paint on, break out the buckets of non-toxic water-based paint (use day glow for a trippy twist), and go wild splashing paint on each other when the clock strikes midnight.

It's certainly going to be messy, so make sure you do it outdoors, but it's nothing a steady stream of water can't fix.

But if a New Year without fireworks is simply unimaginable for you, then at least leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals and go see a public fireworks show.

This is certainly safer than lighting up your own fireworks on the street, and would certainly lessen the amount of fireworks chemicals exploding in the air. – YA, GMA News


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