Promises, Promises

According to an investigation made by an insurance company, about a third of the youngsters in Sweden planned to be both drunk and shoot fireworks at this New Year’s Eve. No wonder that the news is full of stories about boys with their hands and faces damaged, destroyed properties and hysterical pets. As always.

Don’t get me wrong. I love fireworks. Really great ones, handled by professionals. One of my best experiences was at the Millennium Eve celebration in London. People flocked around the Thames to see the splendid show. We were there, my aunt and I. Watching 3M£ go up in smoke, but it was a very special experience.

However, lots of money is spent on rather dull fireworks, in my opinion. What if we would start a movement where people were encouraged to contribute to a really big firework session, one for each city/town/village instead of buying their own? Since that would probably amount to quite a lot of capital, perhaps it could also be used for some kind of lottery and for supporting local societal entrepreneurs. If this would be a success, the business for fireworks producers and suppliers of course would change, but surely we as a society would benefit from it. Lots of cities are already using money from taxes to provide fireworks, with the usual discussions in tow. In Göteborg, the biggest fireworks display is hosted by the major daily newspaper: Göteborgs-Posten. I still think it’s possible to create common fireworks that combine beauty and excitement with safety and support. Combining play with care, as prescribed by The Play Ethic.

The Swedish lifestyle magazine Camino is focusing on sustainable consumption. Right now they are promoting a competition, gathering peoples’ New Year promises. Maybe my promise should be to get this movement rolling…

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