Green Diwali: Let’s light up the Festive spirits in a Responsible wayNov 06, 2018
Diwali is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in India. Its history goes back to ancient times and it is a festival that is common to all the diverse states and languages in the country. There are many versions of stories that tell us why Diwali is celebrated and yet each version points to how good triumphs over evil. In a country that has almost a totally different culture every 500 kms, it is indeed a rarity to find one common festival that is centuries old.
Across the nation, people light lamps and meet family to celebrate Diwali. Also, bursting crackers is something that has long been associated with Diwali. However, recent years has seen a decrease in the bursting of crackers due to increased noise pollution and air pollution that are resulting during Diwali.
As state governments mull over how to reduce pollution during Diwali, it is time for us to rethink what Diwali means and do away with practices that are not eco-friendly.
So, let us take a look at some major practices followed during Diwali and see how we can make our Diwali more sustainable.
The traditional Diwali bath involves applying hot oil on the head and body and soaking in it. Then, a coarsely ground herbal powder is used to scrub away the oil. Natural washes such as soap-nut water or shikakai were used to wash the hair and body in the end. Today, these practices are a rare sight. People have switched to quick showers using regular shampoos and soaps that create irreversible water pollution. Diwali is a great occasion to do away with soaps and shampoos and switch to natural alternatives.
The new clothes
Buying new clothes and flaunting it on Diwali is one of the most anticipated parts of the festival. The textile sector in India works overtime to cater to the demands of people during Diwali. However, the textile industry is also known to be one of the most polluting industries in the world and the labour laws have always come under scrutiny for abusing workers with low wages and bad working conditions. So, this Diwali, let us make it a point to shop for sustainable clothes that were made under fair conditions. A lot of new brands have come up that are working with authentic weavers and artisans and these offer great choices to this end.
There has been no scarcity for sweets on Diwali in any household. The overload of sugar has not been much of a problem during olden days as the sweetness in the sweets came from unrefined sweeteners such as jaggery, palm candy, etc. But, that is not the case today. The sweets are made using refined white sugar that is known to cause many diseases such as diabetes, obesity, etc. To steer clear from such problems, stick to sweets that are made using unrefined sugar and cold-pressed oils.
The crackers are one of the most polluting things about Diwali. The noise pollution affects all the creatures around and even kills a lot of them. The birds, dogs, cows and other animals have serious trouble during Diwali due to the crackers. The air pollution that crackers cause is something that has made headlines. To avoid all this and step into an eco-friendly future, it is best to avoid bursting crackers and find alternative forms of enjoyment such as meeting friends, dancing, karaoke nights, eco-friendly parties, fun contests, etc.
New ways of celebrating festivals have to be taken up in order to keep the celebrations relevant to the present times and for a better future. So, rethink, ideate and have a great Diwali!