October 23, 2014 is Diwali.
Diwali is just around the corner and your preparations must be in full swing. By now you might have cleaned your house, decided on gifts, thought of the number of delicacies to serve the guests and probably shopped to the fullest. But did you ever give it a thought how these celebrations harm the environment and nature around? Sure it’s your innocence and ignorance that keeps you from thinking about the environment amidst the joys, but a little awareness can make a big difference. Here is what happens to your surroundings when you celebrate Diwali with absolute ignorance and unawareness.
It leads to air pollution: For many, bursting crackers is a way to express joy and happiness, but it is a sure way of polluting the air and restricting others from breathing some fresh air too.
It leads to noise pollution: Noise pollution and air pollution due to bursting of crackers go hand-in-hand.
It dirties the surroundings: If only you take a look at the ground the morning after bursting crackers and before the community cleaning is done (if at all it is done) you would know what we are talking about.
It leads to excessive power consumption: What else can you expect after lighting all those lights and decorating your home with the same.
However, there is a lot that you can do to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly manner. This act will ensure that the future is both bright and green during Diwali and other celebrations that would follow. Here are a few steps to do the same.
Start with charity: When you start the annual clean-up of your house make sure that you do not throw away all that you think isn’t a necessity anymore. Instead, make two bags, one for things that can be recycled and other that needs to be disposed. The bag in which you keep things for recycling, dump your unused clothes, toys books and stationery. Go to an NGO to donate it or distribute them among underprivileged kids.What better way to start Diwali preparations than giving gifts to others. For the other bag with the disposable items make sure you dispose them right away and in an eco-friendly manner. For instance, for electronic items dismantle them, remove the silicon batteries and then send them to recycle bins or the nearby electronic repair store.
Opt for earthen lamps for decoration: In an aesthetic sense decorating your house with electric, colourful lights enhances its look, but definitely it calls for more power consumption. Lighting earthen diyas instead will cut down on consumption of electricity and give your house an ethnic look for the occasion. The only flip-side would be that the earthen lamps might need more oil, but if you compare the costs, it is still less to paying extra on electricity.
Buy eco-friendly crackers: The best way to celebrate Diwali is to go noise-free. But it could get difficult to explain the same to your kid. So opt for eco-friendly crackers, these are made up of recycled papers that make less noise as compared to the regular ones. Because of the way these crackers are made, they add less pollution to the environment.
Make your own cards and gift wraps: Useaccessories like bindis, ribbons, pieces of cloth, papers, etc. to make cards and gift wraps. When you buy gifts for your relatives don’t try to wrap them with the conventional gift wraps. Instead, make your own wraps with newspaper and paint.
Engage in more community activities: Make it a point to burst crackers together in your community and choose an area to do the same. Before you start, fix a time, like say just two hours for the entire activity. Ask everyone to gather in the park, playground or an open area and burst eco-friendly crackers together. This will reduce both noise and air pollution to a great extent.
Use organic and eco-friendly accessories: This Diwali to make your house smell well give the room freshener a miss and opt for the organic incense stick and fresh flowers. While buying other accessories, give plastic a miss and opt for paper or handmade kandils. Did you know you could have eco-friendly colours for rangoli too? Well if you want to make it more special and natural, give those artificial colours a miss and turn to your kitchen. You can make a natural and more eco-friendly rangoli with items like rice powder, pulses, legumes and other spices.
Make healthy Diwali sweets: Of course there are a lot of options of sweets and farsans to opt for during the Diwali. But it is fun to gorge on home-made sweets. The best Diwali sweets that you can make at home are besan and rava ladoos, mysore pak, gajar ka halwa, shakkarpare, kheer are a few to choose from.
Entertain guests in an eco-friendly manner: Instead of serving food in expensive crockery opt for banana leaf and small earthen glass to serve the guests. This gesture will make it more special and be eco-friendly too.
Image courtesy: Getty Images
Published: October 20, 2014 4:51 pm | Updated:October 20, 2014 4:52 pm
Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most important and fun-filled festival of India. This festival is celebrated throughout India and everyone loves it, especially the kids. Diwali is that one day, when our country India is entirely lit up, and shines brighter than probably all the other countries. But apart from being a very bright festival, it is risky as well if you do not ensure safety measures because, fire is involved a lot in this festival.
Whether it is the Diyas that enhance the beauty of everyone’s home or the crackers that makes the festival fun, both are connected to a common unsafe natural agent, and that’s the fire.
But other than the risk factor fire, there are few other things that may harm the entire locality or the environment. Therefore, this year try to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali. If you celebrate eco-friendly Diwali, and ask others to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly way, then you have no idea how much it is going to save us and our environment from toxic.
Diwali is just knocking at the door, and surely most of us have started preparing to celebrate this festival in the grandest way possible right? But, this time try to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, so that the celebration can be safe as well as grand at the same time. Would you love to pollute your environment, especially the air? Surely you wouldn’t want that, because air pollution will trigger loads of complicated issues. Therefore, for now and for the upcoming years choose eco-friendly Diwali over the risky Diwali.
Here’s how to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali in 2016
If you want to save your surroundings especially the air from getting polluted, then do follow the five essential ways to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali for this year, an for the rest of the years. So, here are the five best ways to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali:
1. Switch to Diyas: What most of us do is celebrate Diwali in a Chinese manner. Wondering how? Of course, because we use those Chinese fairy lights or string lights, instead of using our traditional ‘Diyas’. The string lights no doubt make your home look beautiful and well decorated; yet still, Diyas are anytime better. Diyas don’t just illuminate the home, but they also add an aesthetic value to this festival. The best part of using diyas instead of the lights are, it is going to save electricity. And saving electricity is definitely an eco-friendly activity.
2. Buy eco-friendly crackers: We all know that Diwali is incomplete without crackers. But, we also know that crackers are hazardous because they emit harmful smoke. You cannot control the smoke at all, because they are always made of chemicals. But one thing you can surely do is use eco-friendly crackers. To celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, use crackers which are made up of paper that can be recycled easily, and produce sound that is under the decibel limit, as per defined by the Pollution Control Board. Therefore, since eco-friendly crackers aren’t harmful, one must definitely buy these.
3. Use eco-friendly colors for Rangoli: Rangolis are a very special part of our Hindu culture. And we draw rangoli in almost every auspicious occasions, whether it is a festival or ceremony. But, the powdered colors we use to draw Rangoli are mostly made of harmful chemicals. Therefore, from now onward, try to use colors that are made of natural ingredients such as rice, turmeric, and etc.
4. Make less noise: We have already mentioned about opting for eco-friendly crackers. And in case you don’t find any in your nearest cracker stall, then play with crackers that do not makes huge amount of noise. Noise can be harmful for many, especially the people who are old and grey and also for those who have heart problems. But apart from the humans, the stray animals too have to suffer immensely because they are scared of fire. Therefore avoid noisy crackers.
5. Use eco-friendly decorations: Since it is Diwali, it is obvious that you are going to decorate your home beautifully. There are many who have a tendency to decorate their home using plastic streamers for Diwali. But, as we all know that plastic can’t be recycled, why don’t we use products that can be recycled or reused every year? So, instead of using plastic decorative items, use things such as flower garlands and duppattas to decorate the home.
Right from cleaning your home using herbal cleansers to decorating and lighting, use eco-friendly materials this Diwali. None of us will ever like to do anything that’s not good for the environment. Therefore, just see if you can follow the above mentioned ways and celebrate a complete eco-friendly Diwali this time.
What else one should do to celebrate Diwali in eco-friendly way?