Awe – Natural or Manufactured

24th October, 2016

Those who work with me will know that I love and I am passionate about the coastal environment that I am lucky to enough work within.  I feel that we should protect what we love.

This post is not about coaching, so some readers might question the relevance of posting it here… and yet… since spending time in our natural environment holds so many positive emotional, cognitive, physical and social benefits… I felt the right place to post this was EXACTLY here…

Lots of people will be considering taking their families to fireworks shows around this time of year. It is certainly true that many organized events are in aid of worthy charities and so I’m not disregarding the potential wider financial benefits that events offer, nor do I wish to devalue their aims… yet the journey between intention and impact is often a non-linear one.

I can remember going to watch fireworks as a child and being amazed by the displays, but for me… now… in 2016… fireworks have a different emotional impact, I believe their time and relevance has passed.

Much like heavy smoking, excessive drinking and mass balloon releases are beginning to be viewed as less evolved choices, the concept of setting light to a load of chemicals and firing litter into the air lacks any positive symbolic relevance for me.

Many parents take their children to firework shows to provide them with a sense of community, fun and awe… all of these are noble intentions… Yet what are the lessons that we are teaching our children?

There are so many more natural and healthy ways of offering our family this level of captivation and fascination.

  • Chasing leaves blowing in an Autumnal breeze, the different colours dancing in circles through the air.
  • Moorland camping, free of light pollution, the stars illuminating the sky unveiling new constellations they had perhaps never seen before.
  • Wave watching on a light offshore day, observing the waves curl, the backwashing spray forming rainbows as the light permeates the sea mist.

And so many more.

Fireworks are hugely environmentally detrimental.

  • They pollute the air
  • Their chemicals are toxic to the soil
  • They spread metallic debris into our water systems
  • They disperse plastic and other manufactured material to the local environment, which can negatively impact wildlife.

The list goes on….

So – call me a party pooper if you like… but before you automatically head out to fireworks because tradition says that is what you do at this time of year… ask yourself the question… is the environmental price worth paying?

I know for a fact that our impromptu mini beach cleans whilst coastal coaching over the next few months will provide plenty of firework related debris along the shoreline and dunes… and this fills me with a less positive sense of awe… I am awed that we are so conditioned in our thinking that even the most green of households let fireworks off the hook, giving them a free pass because… well… because they… “look pretty”!

Please look beyond the sparkle! A wise and aligned choice is one that has compassion for selves, compassion for others and compassion for the planet.  Be more creative in the ways you choose to facilitate awe and take courageous action to perhaps do things a little differently.


About Lizzi Larbalestier

Professional Blue Health Coach, mBIT and NLP trainer specialising in coastal coaching. Creating meaningful conversations, facilitating action and change for the results that you deserve. #bluehealthcoach #oceanempathy #bluemind