Driving thru the streets of Bangalore last evening I was wondering if Diwali is eco friendly by default. I know a lot of people are complaining about the smoke and how that pollutes but here is an interesting perspective of it actually helping the environment.
One predictable repercussion of so many people bursting fireworks in the streets is that the number of vehicles on the road reduce drastically in the evenings. Also the fact that people choose to spend more time with family helps this too. Driving through the streets yesterday, I realized that the traffic flow was down by around 60% to the usual. That is an insane number of fuel guzzlers off the streets.
So now its time to do the math, is the amount of fireworks being burnt producing more pollution than the amount of pollution that is caused by keeping those vehicles off the street. One difference is that the amount of smoke produced by road vehicles is not visually apparent that easily, most of it is invisible. Also there is no major control on the chemicals being used in the fireworks, which makes it to the atmosphere. I’ll have to look into air pollution readings to get a better gauge of things and clearer picture… Frankly Im too lazy to do that right now :P
The most interesting observation I made pondering about this is that, we as humans seem to very often confuse something that is harmful to humans and something that is harmful to the environment. Kinda makes you think doesnt it :P