Diwali is a festival that signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and hope over despair. However, in the recent years, extravagant celebrations have put a strain on the environment. Air pollution levels have risen to dangerous levels, energy and food wastage has increased, plastic packaging, and cracker debris leave the roads littered.
As conscientious citizens of this country, it is time to stop, ponder and act. Can we afford another pollution filled Diwali ahead? Do we want to breathe in the after effects of cracker bursting for months to come? Do we want to add this to our already dangerous levels of pollution?
The answer is definitely a NO. It is for the younger generation to come forward and firmly put their foot against such practices. After all, the world is theirs and it is in their hands to shape it into a healthy, enriched and pollution free one.
As children and adults alike what are some practices we can adopt this Diwali –
The best way is to go fire cracker free. The pollutants associated with crackers are too risky to be taken lightly. The good news is that more and more schools are advocating a cracker free Diwali. This is a good step in the right direction. Not only do they lead to respiratory problems but also give anxiety attacks to animals.
But if at all, one wants to burn crackers, make them eco-friendly in the following ways –
- Collect dry leaves, grass and twigs. Light a bonfire within your community.
- Fill colourful balloons with glitter and bright coloured paper. Burst them with your family and friends.
- Opt for eco-friendly crackers that are made from recycled paper. The noise produced by these crackers is within the decibel limits set by the Central Pollution Control Board.
Substitute candles and electric diyas with oil diyas that are bio-degradable, cost effective, traditional and beautiful. Wheat dough, orange peels, coconut shells and seashells are some options for DIY diyas. They also reduce electricity consumption that reaches sky high levels during Diwali.
We spend thousands on buying fancy gifts. How about going green. Kitchen herbs, feng shui plants, air purifying plants, bonsai, terrariums make great eco-conscious gifts. Use options like jute bags, khadi clothes, and solar powered gadgets. Also, remember to pack your gifts in newspapers instead of shiny plastic.
In the olden days, rangolis were made to feed birds. This Diwali, go back to doing that. Instead of using artificial colours, use rice and pulses; it’s a great way of sharing food with birds and ants. Use flowers like chrysanthemums, roses, lotus and leaves to give the finishing touches to your rangoli – you can use them the next day to make compost for your garden.
Keep First Aid handy
It’s important to stay safe and avoid unfortunate mishaps and injuries that are so commonplace during Diwali festivities.
- Keep water handy. Like garden hose and buckets.
- Keep inhalers, eye drops and burn creams handy.
- Don’t use firecrackers indoors.
Be safe and let the world live healthily.