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Ditch The Cracker, Eat An Extra Sweet: 5 Ways To Celebrate An Eco-Friendly Diwali

Diwali snacks, Eco-Friendly Diwali
Diwali is great. But an eco-friendly Diwali is better. At the ongoing climate summit in Glasgow, global leaders have assembled to present community solutions for preserving the planet, for fighting climate change and essentially, ensuring life on this planet continues. Amid all that big talk, India is gearing up for a festive season annually marked by its grand celebrations that famously come at the cost of emitting toxins into the environment.

There isn’t just one way to celebrate Diwali and no way is more superior than another. But with the responsibility of environmental safeguarding resting on our shoulders, committing to certain social practices is key to our present times. Wouldn’t we all like the light of Diwali to never die out? For that, the planet has to breathe.

Have An Eco-Friendly Diwali This Year: Here Are Tips

1. Light up someone’s Diwali – buy earthen diyas 

It’s only Diwali when all other houses, besides our own, are also twinkling with lights. Around the festival season, roads and markets are lined with artisans and sellers putting their earthen lamps on display in hope that people will stop to buy. Make their dreams come true. Purchase your diyas from them or from NGOs platforming work by traditional artisans. Reduce electricity use by moderating light decorations. Simple diyas cradle more light than factory-made artificial lights ever can anyway.

2. Try to lay off crackers entirely 

No, it is not an attack on culture to rally for and practice cracker-free festivals through the year calendar. Aside from the pollutants crackers release into the environment, they are also responsible for helming unethical labour practices. Despite the ban on child labour, reports as recent as last year claimed underage children were employed in cracker-making in Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki area. Do we want our celebrations to be born out of exploitation?

3. Use organic rangoli colours

Rangoli powder rife with chemicals is not the best option when you’re trying to go green. A simple but impactful change to make here is by getting your hands on organic colours that are safe for both your skin and environment. If the mood is high for DIY, then you can even attempt an easy at-home recipe to turn plain sand into bright rangoli colours with some food dye. Or if you’re feeling lazy, you can directly pick out coloured powders from your shelves – turmeric, flour, henna, vermillion.

4. Plastic decor isn’t the best idea

When the natural genda-phool blossoms in full glory, what use are plastic flowers? Petals or flowers, in their most natural states, make for magnificent decorations on Diwali. The house is left fragrant and enveloped in earthy tones that are so definitive of the festive winter season in India. Also, think of all the cash you will save by picking natural flowers over artificial ones. Some fun Pinterest ideas will show that natural flowers paired with diyas make for very aesthetic decor!

5. Celebrate within the community

The spirit of Diwali is ignited by community feeling. Exchanging sweets, catching up with friends, dressing up for a night of revelry – these are all that make up the festival. And the need for harmony has never rung louder than now. Diwali can be a bridge for us all to walk ahead, together. When celebrating with each other, we also significantly help the environment by cutting down on a bulk of electricity and cracker use on a personal level.

Another difficult pandemic year is coming to an end. Unwinding for a bit – with COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, of course – is something we all deserve. So go on, have a socially distanced and masked evening of festivities with your loved ones. Don’t forget to have an extra piece of mithai. Happy Diwali!

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