Best ways to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali 2021

Embracing a sustainable lifestyle includes taking a mindful approach to everything we do, eat, buy and throw away, and promoting the use of low-waste products.

Diwali or Deepawali is recognised as the ‘Festival of Lights and is one of India’s most celebrated Hindu festivals. Festival of Lights is observed to mark the arrival of Lord Ram to Ayodhya along with Devi Sita and brother Lakshman after 14 years of exile (vanvaas).

On Diwali, people adorn their houses with diyas, rangolis and ornamental lights. They wear new clothes, exchange sweets and gifts with others, light crackers and perform Lakshmi Pujan in the evening. Diwali is celebrated precisely after ten days of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashami.

Image Source: The Independent

Embracing a sustainable lifestyle includes taking a mindful approach to everything we do, eat, buy and throw away, and promoting the use of low-waste products. While we have already discovered the steps we can take to eradicate plastic, the next thing we need to contemplate is how we can reinvent our traditions and celebrations to reduce the pressure they have on our planet. Here, we list down a few environment-conscious ways to honour one of India’s favourite festivals.

1) Save electricity consumption:

 The energy used in standard electronic lights is consumed a lot rather than using the traditional way to commemorate the festival and light diyas and candles which are the better replacement. Enhance our houses with flowers, LED lamps, LED lights and rangolis.

Image Source: India Today

2) Use fewer firecrackers:

Diwali without crackers is considered a no go for many, especially the youth. Since we also have to acknowledge the air and noise contamination caused by the firecrackers. One way to resolve this is by celebrating Diwali together as a community; that way, everyone gets to burst crackers but will use lesser crackers.

3) Reduce plastic use:

 During the Diwali celebration, one thing that gets everyone charged is Diwali shopping! However, shopping also means a lot of plastic bags. Let’s say ‘No’ to plastic shopping bags and use cloth or reusable bags when going out shopping.

4) Organic Rangoli Colours:

Rangolis are a massive part of Diwali festivities. Pretty and colourful patterns make our houses look stunning, but synthetic colours are toxic to the environment and harmful when inhaled and cause serious health issues.

Let’s opt for rangolis that can be done using flowers or eco-friendly colours that do not cause harm to the environment. Organic rangoli colours are readily available in the markets.

Image Source: freepik

 

5) For your furry friends:

If you have pets at home, then ask your neighbours not to use crackers this Diwali and always try to give shelter for the stray dogs to keep them shielded when everyone burst crackers during Diwali evening. 

Image Source: Facebook| Amazing Nepal

6) Take a mindful approach to Diwali parties and gifting:

The festive season beckons celebration and spending time with family and friends, but all the dinners, parties and shopping can be kept accountable in a few ways. Give gifts a personal touch by wrapping them up in recyclable paper, use biodegradable cutlery and plates over plastic or thermocol choices, re-use the decorations used last year, discard any office or home waste responsibly, and keep Diwali shopping to a minimum, buying only what is needed.

Image Source: Green Pearls

7) Reinvent Diwali traditions to be more eco-friendly:

A huge part of the celebrations is the traditional sweets and treats. Instead of buying packaged goodies, try to stick to homemade snacks this time around. Not only are you taking care of your health, but you’re also dodging all the useless packaging that can be dangerous for the environment. In many communities, the ‘Abhyanga Snan’ or the oil bath is a necessary ritual on the morning of Diwali. Bring out the essential oils, natural soaps and ubtans (face scrubs) and luxuriate in some self-care. 

Image Source: Curly Tales

8) Give back to your community:

Diwali is the festival of radiating light and joy, making it the perfect time to bank some goodness. Stack up all the clothes and household objects you don’t need during your yearly Diwali cleaning, and donate them to a non-profit. Be mindful of any food leftovers and unwanted edible gifts too, you can give them to a local food bank or housing shelters.

9) Create Awareness:

India has many remote and uninformed people who firecrackers while unaware of its direct and late side effects. Building awareness is the best counter to this obstacle. 

Joining peaceful demonstrations, reaching out to backward areas in our neighbourhood and just making people understand the problem is the least we can do for the city we live in and for future generations. There isn’t a 100% chance that this step can change everyone to stop the dangerous celebrations, but the 10% that educate themselves from these demonstrations and campaigns can certainly bring visible change. 

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