EcoWaste Coalition Pitches for Alternative New Year’s Eve Noisemakers

An environmental health group has come up with a list of non-hazardous noisemakers as local government and police authorities work double time to control, if not ban, the use of firecrackers and fireworks to prevent injuries and COVID-19 transmission during the New Year‘s Eve revelry.

With the much anticipated goodbye to 2020 nearing, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the general public to welcome the New Year in a safe and eco-friendly manner to prevent firecracker-related injuries and deaths, fires, pollution and acoustic torture against animals.

“Let us end this year of unparalleled challenges and difficulties due to destructive calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic not with the usual mayhem and pollution that can only exacerbate our health and environmental problems,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition. 

“For a change, let us celebrate the New Year in a way that will not injure or kill others, trigger fires, generate toxic emissions and wastes, and torture our cats and dogs with painful noise,” he said.

“Funds saved can be used to alleviate the suffering of neighbors, relatives, friends and even strangers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the string of disasters that disrupted and ruined our people’s lives,” he added.

Instead of firecrackers and fireworks, the group appealed to the public to make use of substitute noisemakers for merrymaking on New Year’s Eve.

The group listed the following as good alternatives to firecrackers and fireworks with a caveat that basic health protocols should be observed at all times, particularly hand-washing,  physical distancing and avoiding “talsik-laway” during the merrymaking.

1. Bang pot lids and pan covers as improvised cymbals.
2. Shake maracas fashioned out of empty cans.
3. Rattle the tambourine made from flattened bottle crowns.
4. Tap big water bottles, biscuit cans or buckets like drums.
5.  Shake your piggy bank or create your own "shakers" from paper boxes or plastic bottles with coins, pebbles or seeds.
6. Beat the batya or palanggana (washbasin) with a ladle or stick.
7.  Honk bicycle or car horns.
8. Ring the alarm clocks or play ringtones altogether.
9. Switch on the radio or play your favorite music or musical instruments.
10. Clap your hands and stomp your feet.

“Alternatively, you can also do away with noisemakers and opt to welcome the New Year in the quiet but joyful company of the people you care for,” said Dizon.

To prevent harm to public health and the environment, the EcoWaste Coalition further urged New Year‘s Eve revelers not to release balloons, light sky lanterns and burn garbage and used tires.