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Sustainable New Year's Eve Celebration Without Fireworks – Reasons, Tips, Cities and Resolutions

Celebrate New Year's Eve sustainably without fireworks - here's how!

How can you actually have a sustainable New Year's Eve without fireworks? Wenn du eine klare Antwort auf diese Frage suchst, bist du hier absolut richtig! Seit Jahrhunderten jagen Menschen zum Jahreswechsel Feuerwerkskörper in die Luft. „Irgendwie gehört es ja wohl dazu“ ist wohl die am häufigsten genannte Begründung dafür.

Das Feuerwerk an Silvester ist natürlich eine alte Tradition, aber das macht sie ja nicht weniger laut, gefährlich und umweltbelastend. Auch Traditionen dürfen selbstverständlich hinterfragt und angepasst werden – und genau das möchte ich jetzt tun.

In diesem Artikel zeige ich dir, wie eine möglichst nachhaltige Silvesterfeier ablaufen kann. Du lernst die Motive, nützliche Tipps, Inspiration für Gerichte und Aktivitäten, Städte ohne Feuerwerk, sowie Ideen für Neujahrsvorsätze kennen, damit du den Jahresausklang möglichst ökologisch meistern kannst. Auf geht's!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Reasons
  2. Tips
  3. Cities without fireworks
  4. Resolutions
  5. Closing words

8 Gründe: Warum sollte man überhaupt nachhaltig Silvester feiern ohne Feuerwerk?

Why should you celebrate New Year's Eve sustainably?

Ja, ein Feuerwerk ist etwas Schönes – vor allem, wenn man damit das neue Jahr willkommen heißen kann. Seit 1379 ist es in Europa zur gewohnten Tradition gereift. Es soll böse Geister vertreiben und connects us humans with each other at the turn of the year.

However, apart from these advantages, this centuries-old tradition also brings with it many disadvantages, which are known as Motivation for a sustainable New Year celebration serve.

Im Folgenden möchte ich dir die wichtigsten Gründe noch kurz erläutern, bevor wir anschließend zu den Praxis-Tipps übergehen.

1. garbage in the environment

Fireworks are deliberately shooting garbage into the environment. At the hotspots of the five largest German cities alone, the following waste is generated on New Year's Eve rund 200 Tonnen Müll an.1

Not only the Rockets, firecrackers and their packaging get into nature with all the joy of the turn of the year. The contained Pollutants and toxins werden vom Regen ausgewaschen und stellen schlussendlich ebenfalls eine Bedrohung für die Umwelt und die Tierwelt dar.

2. fine dust in the air

From the first second of the new year, particulate matter pollution in Germany is as high as at any other time of the year. This accelerates the climate change und ist gesundheitsgefährdend – besonders für Astmathiker:innen, Kinder und Menschen mit einem chronischen Lungenleiden.

3. accident hazard

In addition to the fine dust pollution, the high accident risk from rockets, firecrackers and other fireworks also speaks in favor of an environmentally friendly New Year's Eve without fireworks. Through Cross-fired rockets and unauthorized firecrackers unfortunately, many people are seriously injured directly or indirectly.

The Life of a human being kann sich dadurch von einen Tag auf den anderen radikal verändern.

4. volume

Both Children but especially also Birds, dogs, cats, cows, pigs, chickens and in general also all wild animals are very irritated and frightened by the loud fireworks at the turn of the year.

The Noise is avoidable und ein guter Grund dafür, einen Schlussstrich unter das traditionelle Feuerwerk in der Silvesternacht zu ziehen, findest du nicht?

Good to know: Besides the volume, it is also the Light pollution, die nicht nur in der Silvesternacht für Irritationen in der Tierwelt sorgt.

5. cost

On New Year's Eve, we humans literally chase our hard earned and saved money in Form von Raketen und Böllern in die Luft. Manche Menschen geben mehrere tausend Euro dafür aus. Das Geld lässt sich definitiv sinnvoller einsetzen.

In any case, investing in fireworks at the turn of the year is not only a polluting, but also a rather short-lived and expensive pleasure. All the more reason to stop - and proof that you can save money through sustainable behavior can.

6. exploitation

More than 97 percent of the fireworks sold worldwide come from from exploitative factories in China and India.2

There, firecrackers and rockets are produced manually because it is cheaper. In this seasonal business, unskilled workers not only receive low wages, but are also often unable to assess the dangers of their profession. Accordingly, it comes in the fireworks factories, major fires and explosions with fatalities frequently occur..3 Also Child labor ist in den Produktionsstätten keine Seltenheit.4

7. role model function

Blowing up fireworks on New Year's Eve is not particularly exemplary. After all, children also eventually come into the Age at which they are more confident and possibly do crazy things with firecrackers and rockets.. It makes more sense to show them directly that you can celebrate New Year's Eve without fireworks.

8. vandalism and theft

Unfortunately, it often does not remain with the traditional use of fireworks on New Year's Eve. Many people take advantage of the noise and confusion at the turn of the year to Drinking alcohol, blowing off steam, damaging things, breaking into houses or to attack other people. A sustainable New Year's Eve celebration, on the other hand, is a bit quieter and more manageable - and doesn't provide the chaos needed for vandalism.

10 tips: How to celebrate New Year's Eve sustainably?

Tips: How to celebrate New Year's Eve sustainably?

Es spricht also deutlich mehr dafür, Silvester nachhaltig und ohne Feuerwerk zu feiern. Um die Protect your own health, the well-being of all animals and, of course, your own walletyou should simply approach the turn of the year differently this year and in the future.

Soweit so gut. Aber wie kann man Silvester in der Praxis möglichst sozialverträglich, sowie tier- und umweltfreundlich gestalten? Dazu habe ich hier die versprochenen, wertvollen Tipps für dich, die du auch fairly simple to implement without bending completely.

1. refrain from fireworks and firecrackers

Weniger Müll, Feinstaub, Krach, Risiko, Vandalismus, Ausbeutung und Kosten. Brauchst du noch mehr Argumente? 😉 Wenn du Silvester nachhaltig feiern möchtest, dann ist der erste große Schritt zu einem umweltfreundlichen Jahreswechsel bereits damit getan, dass du dir und anderen keine Böller, Raketen oder weitere Feuerwerkskörper kaufst.

You still want to start the new year with a traditional fireworks display? Then you should at least go to public fireworks events und nicht zusätzlich auch noch privat Raketen in die Luft jagen. Wenn du unbedingt böllern möchtest, dann ist es außerdem ratsam, es dort zu tun, wo sowieso viele Feuerwerkskörper entzündet werden: in the city centerinstead of the quiet village.

Tip: In many cities there are now also really cool Light or laser shows in the sky, making the turn of the year much quieter and more environmentally friendly!

2. cook an environmentally friendly New Year's Eve dinner

Was ist schöner, als sich together with family and friends ins neue Jahr zu futtern? Zu einem nachhaltigen Silvester gehört dann natürlich auch ein nachhaltiges Festessen.

Whether Raclette, fondue, lentil soup, doughnuts or fire tongs punch - all this is also wonderfully organic, vegetable and just sustainable possible!

3. wax casting instead of lead casting

In many places it is traditional to pour lead on New Year's Eve and use it to oracle possible events in the new year. However, the pouring of lead is extremely harmful to health, since heating produces toxic lead oxides that can enter the respiratory tract and impair brain function, among other things.

Meanwhile, sets in the EU may also only have a maximum lead content of 0.3 percent. The Stiftung Warentest recommends but generally to start the new year unleaded.5

Fortunately, the resulting wax formations can also be interpreted. You can soften it with a spoon over the candle and then - as usual - pour it into cold water. Use for example homemade Blanks from old candle remnants.

Auch wenn Zinn eine grünere Alternative zum Bleißgießen darstellt, kann man auch durch das Cartography or Coffee set reading wonderfully oracle about their own future and preserve the usual tradition (somewhat adapted).

4. prefer alternative activities

What is New Year's Eve all about? It's about being together with friends and family, having fun, and getting into the new year in a good mood. That also goes without fireworks, noise, garbage and fine dust!

Just look for other activities that fulfill these desires as well. How about for example cooking together or a Wellness, game or movie night? Just do what you feel like. There are no limits to the imagination.

5. use natural, reusable utensils

Environmentally friendly celebrate New Year's Eve with reusable alternatives

Verzichte auch an Silvester auf Einwegplastik und setze stattdessen, zum Beispiel bei der Wahl von Besteck, Trinkbechern, Servietten und anderen Utensilien, auf müllvermeidende Mehrweg-Alternativen. Zum Einen ist die Stimmung dann durchaus cozy and on the other hand, the food also has a significant elegant.

Tip: How you can basically create a Zero Waste Party You can find out how to get started in the linked blog article.

6. indulge in wine and sparkling wine with natural corks and organic quality.

Natürlich kann auch noch miteinander auf ein gesundes, neues Jahr angestoßen werden, wenn man nachhaltig Silvester feiert! Bevorzuge dafür zum Beispiel veganen Bio-Wein und Bio-Sekt und achte darauf, dass es sich um einen real cork stopper instead of plastic. According to the WWF, by doing so you also specifically counteract the global species extinction against.6

7. use reusable straws

Of course, one can fundamentally argue about the sense of straws. Because actually, the use of drinking straws is just a (not necessary, human) habit. They do not have an actual benefit and there are many good reasons for doing without plastic straws in particular.

But if you want to sip cocktails through a straw and still celebrate New Year's Eve in the most sustainable way possible, you can rely on a Cornucopia of plastic-free alternatives fall back on. For example there are Bamboo straws (e.g. these*) or easily washable Glass straws. (e.g. these*)

8. buy only as much food as necessary

To make your personal Reduce food wasteFor a sustainable New Year's Eve party, you should only buy as much food as you really need. You yourself can best assess the drinking and eating behavior of your guests and accordingly, optimize your errands for a garbage-free, sustainable New Year.

9. decorate naturally and environmentally friendly

Fir branches, natural paper or raffia ribbon sind beispielsweise natürliche Materialien und eignen sich wunderbar für deine nachhaltige Silvester-Dekoration.

You can just as well use old Sandwich bags to bang or cut out confetti from foliage for a surprise effect or two. Again, let your imagination run wild - the main thing is that you avoid unnecessary waste.

10. stay relaxed and safe

You always feel totally stressed on New Year's Eve because you want to organize everything perfectly? Take the pressure off and focus on the really important things at the turn of the year: Friends, family and joy. Everything else is basically beside the point. That being said, no one is forcing you to celebrate the start of the new year at all. Some people just slide in asleep 🙂 .

Safety and health sind natürlich weitere, wichtige Faktoren! Damit wir alle die nachhaltige Neujahrsfeier sicher und gesund überstehen, solltet ihr euch immer an die Recommendations of the local fire department hold and among other things...

  • close all windows and doors.
  • Place balcony plants in a safe place.
  • use only tested fireworks with a registration number and the CE mark.
  • leave lit but unexploded fireworks.
  • Only allow rockets to be launched vertically upwards from suitable open areas.

Cities: Where can you celebrate New Year's Eve without fireworks?

Cities: Where can you celebrate New Year's Eve without fireworks?

If you not only want to avoid firecrackers and rockets yourself, but ideally don't want to hear any of it, you should celebrate where it is forbidden.

Ein ganzheitliches Feuerwerksverbot oder zumindest böllerfreie Zonen gibt es beispielsweise in den folgenden deutschen Städten:

  • Dortmund
  • Cologne
  • Düsseldorf (entire old town)
  • Hanover
  • Tübingen (Baden-Wuerttemberg)
  • Quedlinburg (Saxony-Anhalt)
  • Bremen
  • Göttingen
  • Celle
  • Straubing
  • Wolfenbüttel
  • Lüneburg
  • Nuremberg
  • Bamberg
  • Islands (Sylt, Hallig Oland, Amrum)

Of course, these are by no means all German cities where you can sustainably celebrate New Year's Eve without fireworks. But the length of the list underlines that many cities see very good reasons, to issue a ban on fireworks.

You know other cities where you can celebrate New Year's Eve relatively quietly? Then feel free to drop me a comment with your note!

Resolutions: What sustainable goals can you set for the new year?

The turn of the year offers a wonderful opportunity to shed environmentally harmful habits and adapt new, sustainable routines and behaviors. Here are some ideas, die sich relativ zügig umsetzen lassen:

  1. Switch to a green electricity provider (compare here*, takes only 5 minutes)
  2. Stop eating meat (and the Veganuary master)
  3. Only buy things you really need (see Minimalism)
  4. Reduce your own plastic waste by half (see plastic free living)
  5. Watch a documentary about factory farming (see vegan documentaries)

At sustainable resolutions I will introduce you to many more goals for the new year. There you will also learn how to stay on track and successfully implement even larger plans. I can also recommend my Book Sustainable living for beginners*that will make your everyday life much easier in an environmentally friendly way.

Celebrate New Year's Eve and the New Year sustainably? No problem!

As you can see there are many good reasons and countless possibilities for celebrating a sustainable turn of the year without fireworks. In any case, avoid the noise that is frightening for children and animals, minimize air pollution in deiner Umgebung und produziere keinen unnötigen und kostspieligen Silvestermüll.

Bewahre außerdem Menschen vor der Ausbeutung und davor, verletzt zu werden. Und finde gesündere, umweltverträglichere Alternativen für dein Neujahrsorakel.

"What we do today will determine what the world looks like tomorrow."

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (more at Environmental protection quotes)

Just be a role model! Du kannst auch ohne großen Aufwand auf eine nachhaltige Art und Weise ins neue Jahr rutschen. Hast du Fragen, Tipps oder Anregungen für ein plastikfreies, nachhaltiges Silvester? Dann freue ich mich auf deinen Kommentar!

Happy New Year and a happy, healthy, new year,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Have a look around the Environmental protection blog um. There you can now next, for example, the most valuable Tips for a sustainable lifestyle pick up

  1. S. Luig: Fireworks on New Year's Eve, available at https://www.vku.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/feuerwerk-zu-silvester-rund-200-tonnen-silvesterabfall-faellt-am-neujahrstag-allein-an-den-hotspots-der-fuenf-groessten-staedte-an. [22.12.2023]. ↩︎
  2. M. Schwarzer: Ausgeböllert – Das Silvesterfeuerwerk gehört abgeschafft (Stand: 23.10.2019), abrufbar unter https://www.rnd.de/panorama/ausgebollert-das-silvesterfeuerwerk-gehort-abgeschafft-HYNZ5QPL4JD6LGC4FVAYVZDOD4.html. [22.12.2023]. ↩︎
  3. ntv Nachrichtenfernsehen GmbH: Explosion in fireworks factory kills eleven Chinese workers (02.11.2013), available at https://www.n-tv.de/panorama/Elf-chinesische-Arbeiter-sterben-article11654066.html. [22.12.2023]. ↩︎
  4. taz Verlags u. Vertriebs GmbH: Kinderarbeit und tödliche Unfälle : Wunderkerzen aus kleinen Händen (Stand: 31.12.2011), abrufbar unter https://taz.de/Kinderarbeit-und-toedliche-Unfaelle/!5104244. [22.12.2023]. ↩︎
  5. Stiftung Warentest: Bleigießen – Besser bleifrei ins Neue Jahr (Stand 01.12.2021), abrufbar unter https://www.test.de/Bleigiessen-Besser-bleifrei-ins-Neue-Jahr-4484000-0. [22.12.2023]. ↩︎
  6. WWF Germany: How to celebrate New Year's Eve in harmony with the environment and nature (as of 19.12.2022), available at https://www.wwf.de/aktiv-werden/tipps-fuer-den-alltag/so-feiern-sie-silvester-im-einklang-mit-umwelt-und-natur. [22.12.2023]. ↩︎
Coffee box Suggestions for improvement

* Links with asterisks are so-called affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with CareElite.de, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

4 thoughts on “Nachhaltiges Silvester ohne Feuerwerk feiern – Gründe, Tipps, Städte und gute Vorsätze”

    1. Hi Brigitte! Thank you for the link to the petition. Please all sign Andrea Glomba's petition, thank you 🙂 .
      Many greetings and a successful new year,
      Christoph

  1. We also started the year without a big bang. The brightest thing was sparklers (they always go) and the hottest thing was the tea we drank that night.

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