India is a land of festivals and we love to celebrate each one of them, be it Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Holi or Diwali or others. Blame it on rituals or tradition, every time we celebrate these festivals, it is our environment who has to bear the brunt of our deeds. Not only we humans end up polluting air, water, and earth, but we also affect the animals, and worse, we leave a garbage trail behind.
To be specific, the use of ear-shattering firecrackers during Diwali is the main reason behind noise pollution as well. If you translate the term “Diwali” in English, it is the “Festival Of Lights” and not “Festival of Pollution”.
This year the festival is on 27 October and can we pledge to celebrate a “Green Diwali” this time?
11 Tips on how to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali and take care of the environment at the same time.
- Eschew Firecrackers: If you really care about your mother nature, then abstain from these toxic firecrackers. Not only they affect our lungs, but whenever they are burnt, they release many pollutants in the air. Many say to opt for “Green firecrackers” instead, which are considered to be less polluting than the traditional ones, but just a suggestion- Give it a miss this time.
- Light Candles or Diyas: Earthen lamps and candles look beautiful on Diwali, also in cities, some prefer using LED lights. Usually, Diwali falls on the darkest night, that is ‘Amavasya’ or New Moon and therefore, these subtle lights will enhance the beauty of your home.
- Use Natural Colours: Rangolis are an inseparable part of the festival and therefore, rice flour (white), pulses (yellow), spices (brown and green) were used to decorate them, but nowadays, many prefer using artificial white powder during the festival, which is not at all good for the environment. Switch to old ways and you won’t have to worry anymore about the environment.
- Don’t Use Artificial Flowers or Toxic Paints: Use organic paints and real flowers to enhance the decor of your room. You can grow some flower plants in your garden as well, also don’t break the branches or kill the plant in order to get the flowers.
- Use Organic Incense Sticks: Some reports say that lighting commercial incense sticks, ones that are not organic can be equal to smoking 10 cigarettes a day. So, don’t dig your own grave and abstain from using the toxic products available in the market. A clean heart and good intentions are all that matters in the pujas.
- Say No To Plastic Bags: If you plan to gift something to your loved ones, use paper bags or paper-fiber bottles. Plastic pollution is killing the planet already, so don’t add to it. Also, while purchasing sweets or flowers or clothes, get your own cloth bags from home.
- Send E-Cards To Your Loved Ones: By now you have understood why greeting cards are not a good option. We don’t know how many trees have been chopped down to make these cards already. So, either check out eco-friendly greeting cards or even best, send e-cards instead.
- Share Excess Meals With The Needy: We Indians look forward to a gastronomic feast during the festivals so chances are there will be always excess food. Share the excess meals with the needy people so they don’t have to go to bed on an empty stomach. You can lit up their day with one simple act of kindness and that is 1000 times better than lighting firecrackers.
- Organize Talks on Green Diwali: Check where the crowd is more or you can even gather the youths and organize talks or give speeches to create awareness and the need to have an eco-friendly Diwali. Also, you can ask them to volunteer and fight climate injustice. You can also organize nature walks or share the benefits of forest bathing.
- Try Plogging: If you still don’t know what the term means, take a cue from Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. On October 12, he collected the garbage while walking on the beach at Mamallapuram and the activity lasted for about 30 minutes. You can also do the same to ensure that our public spaces are tidy and clean.
- Create New Slogans: You can create numerous quirky slogans to draw the attention of people and urge them to go green this year. You can create slogans like “Burst Your Bad Habits Not Crackers This Diwali” , “Green Is The New Cool This Diwali” , “Avoid Crackers And Protect Mother Nature” , “Crackers Are Of No Use, They Are For Environment Abuse” .
It is a myth that without crackers we cannot celebrate Diwali. Also who blame it on tradition, well, the Chinese invented firecrackers, not Indians. Every year we greet our loved ones saying “Have A Happy And Safe Diwali”.
Let us understand that SAFE here means safe for the environment as well. Let us pledge to celebrate a GREEN DIWALI this year, and remove the darkness hovering over our environment.
We Wish You All A Clean And Green Diwali!