Deepavali, or as commonly known, Diwali is a festival of lights. This is one of the most awaited festivals in India. Traditionally, this festival is known as the triumph of good over evil. Families come together, bond, pray, make sweets, exchange gifts, and share a good laugh. It is such a pure and beautiful festival where the entire house is hit up with diyas and candles. But in the present day, this festival has become more chaotic. As the celebrations begin in full glory, we shop, spend and waste more than normal. Year after year, one issue that keeps increasing is the pollution level. So, we have decided to guide you on how to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali this year.
How to celebrate the eco-friendly Diwali Festival
The toxic particles in the airflow to alarming levels, cars jam-packed on the road to eternity, people carrying Diwali Presents, plastics and food waste growing exponentially and spread out on the streets. Instead of prevailing goodness, the things which we love – humans, animals, and the world – display misery and anguish. If we start focusing on celebrating the festival with friends and family for fun more than focusing on sources like firecrackers, Diwali will be a more beautiful festival. This essay on how to celebrate Eco-friendly Diwali below will help you take action to bring about positive changes that will not only benefit you but also every individual and the planet. We will soon be able to celebrate a brighter festival.
Here are ways that will teach you How to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali festival this year.
1. Use oil diyas or lamps instead of electric lights
Nothing is more beautiful than the diyas of oil. This year, ditch electric lights for earthen pots and oil diyas and lamps. This way, you won’t only be saving the world, you will also be helping local artisans who make this diyas. And painting diyas is a fun school vacation practice as well. Sit down with your friends, family, and children and paint some fun diyas this year. Avoid buying painted diyas as they contain chemical color over them. If you are painting your own diyas, use chemical-free colors.
Try to avoid candles as well because they cannot be reused for a long period of time. Also, they are petroleum-based and release toxins during burning to affect air quality. If you do have to use electric lights, make use of LED lights or Diwali lights. These use 80% lesser energy. The best option would still be oil diyas as they can be used year after year.
2. Make natural rangoli
In ancient times, rangolis were made to share food with insects and birds. This practice is still followed in many villages in South India. But in most other places, rangoli is now just used for decorative purposes. People have started using chemical loaded colors to make their rangolis. This year, we urge you to use more natural colors in your rangoli. You can use turmeric, coffee powder, kumkum, etc for colors like yellow, brown, and red. You can also use flowers and leaves to enhance the look. This way, not only will you be able to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, but you can also use this in your compost bin directly the next day as opposed to chemical colors. If you want to use artificial colors, make use of organic colors.
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3. Say no to crackers
While many eco-friendly crackers are entering the market and are undoubtedly more environmentally friendly than others, this Diwali says a complete no to firecrackers. Get all the children of the community together and take them on nature walks in the evening and celebrate it by lighting sky lanterns. Fill up balloons with sprinkles and color papers. You can also have kids blow in brown paper bags and have them burst them by jumping on it. These sounds will definitely make Diwali more cheerful. Also, take care of your furry friends. Take your pets on a walk before your neighbors start bursting crackers. Provide shelter to the stray and save them from noise pollution as they are very sensitive to it. Also, air pollution and the land pollution that is caused due to firecrackers may lead to the death of many animals and birds.
4. Be smart with your home decor
You don’t always have to go shopping during Diwali to make your home decor. The internet is filled with innovative ideas for DIY and you would be shocked that your house is full of interesting stuff. Any redundant CD can be a wonderful chandelier, for example. If you plan on getting your house painted, make use of eco-friendly paint as they do not contain harmful VOCs. Try to cancel the plans for painting your home this year. Make use of dupattas and sarees as streamers. Do not throw away anything. Almost everything can be reused. Make the best out of waste and see your house look beautiful. During Diwali puja, make use of organic incense sticks.
5. Ditch plastic for packaging
Diwali is known for exchanging gifts. All that is nice, but what do you do with all the wrapping paper? Just throw it away and increase the level of pollution? This Diwali, opt for handmade wrapping papers or newspapers to wrap your gifts. You can also place it in a nice paper bag. If you want to use wrapping paper because it looks more presentable and fancy, make one. Paint paper and use it to wrap the gifts. The best part about this is that you can personalize the wrapper based on who you are gifting it to.
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6. Do not buy sweets from vendors
We know gifting sweets is an age-old tradition during Diwali. But did you know the vendors you buy your sweets from are one of the largest contributors to pollution and wastage? These vendors not just waste a lot of food, but also make use of plastic boxes and cellophane tapes. If you want to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali without contributing to pollution and wastage, try making sweets at home. You will find a lot of recipes on the internet. It is also a fun way to engage everyone in the household.
7. Give thoughtful gifts
If you are someone who doesn’t know what to gift someone, then we have the best solution for you. But if you have already decided on a gift, we ask you to reconsider. Do you really want to give someone something that will eventually lead to pollution even in the future? Instead, gift your friends and family eco-friendly items such as plants, jute products, khadi clothing, etc. Support the green cause by replacing shiny wrapping paper with regular wraps or paper bags.
8. Do not throw away stuff
Many families like to clean their houses before Diwali. While this is an excellent practice, you may notice that you find a lot of things that you would want to dispose of because you probably do not use it anymore or it is a little damaged. Do not throw away such things in the bin. Instead, donate such things to the poor and needy. Making the underprivileged happy is one of the best ways to celebrate Diwali.
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9. Discard waste responsibly
Festivals create a large amount of waste from crackers to home decor. This Diwali, aims to distinguish biodegradable and non-biologically degradable waste. After the festivities are over, take the initiative to clean up your company/ locality.
Auspicious Days of Diwali in 2020
- Thursday, 12 November 2020: Govatsa Dwadashi and Vasu Baras
- Friday, 13 November 2020: Dhanteras and Yama Deepam
- Saturday, 14 November 2020: Narak Chaturdashi and Kali Chaudas
- Saturday, 14 November 2020: Laxmi Puja, Diwali Puja
- Monday, 16 November 2020: Bhaiya Dooj / Yama Dwitiya
It is high time we realize the amount of pollution and wastage we produce under the name of Diwali. This year, pledge to make the festival safe and happy. Use the tips on how to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali festival and enjoy the same.
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