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Eco-friendly Diwali 

A glimmer of hope when there is darkness around four corners is just the spirit that comes with Diwali. As the legend told over generations of different families, Diwali marks the triumph of classic good over evil. 

This festival is always a memorable one every year for everyone, the small festivities, the sweets, the spirit of auspiciousness, gaiety, gratitude and hope that things might just start rolling upwards from here. All around the year, when you can’t afford something, you always say, I’ll get a great offer on Diwali!

The crippling reality is that our planet just can’t afford more great offers on Diwali. Despite all the joy it brings, it does harm in equal amounts to nature. 

That is why, the need of the hour is to change to a more sustainable form of our traditional festival, i.e eco-friendly Diwali.  What is Eco-friendly Diwali? It is the practice of minimizing pollution to the maximum extent while preserving the spirit of the festival. It includes using organic colours, no crackers, no plastic (decorative flowers, synthetic incense etc.). All these practices when implemented annually might just give the Earth the light it needs to sustain us and the people we love. 

The reality is harsh, the waste left from crackers and celebrations including plastic, the chemical remains left in neighbourhoods takes hours to clean and that is just the tip of the iceberg. This collected waste then needs to be disposed of, therein the problem lies. If we burn this, then it toxifies the air, if we dump this, it creates barren lands. Every year one of these evils is chosen, we might revel in joy for a week but then we suffer for the whole new year ahead. 

Getting tense and disheartened? Worry not, if each one of us holds up to a personal responsibility then we can still tip the scales in our favour. 

Here are some Eco-friendly Diwali practices. 

  • Instead of gifting gift hampers, chocolates and sweets. Why not give a gift that will be there for a lifetime. Why not gift plants? Sow the seeds this Diwali, create a small garden in the next 5 years with every Diwali. It will be a true eco-friendly Diwali.
  • Don’t get too carried away in the festive spirit, limit your festivities. Go to sleep at 12 but no later, as the day expires carry the spirit in your heart and move on. 
  • Ever hear of carpooling? Then why not try this on Diwali. Celebrate collectively with your friends, neighbours, family. Worship together, eat together, exchange recipes, and gifts. Build those ties stronger 
  • Some organic gift ideas:- soaps, creams, tea, coffee, spices, gourmet ice creams, bags, jewellery, decorative items, paintings, handicraft items, etc. gift sweets or other food in reusable containers or paper bags.
  • Buy with care, only get what you need, when you buy in excess it always is kept for the next festival or is wasted away. 
  • Use paper gift wraps not cellophane ones. 
  • Some more subtle ones can be using organics colours, real flowers, limiting time on lights(conserve energy), use earthen diyas, idols for worship. 

These suggestions when implemented by everyone as responsibility will solve this complex problem with a seemingly simple solution. 

 In a nutshell, the earth can’t afford more traditional Diwali due to the pollution and harm done over generations. So for a better future, we need to transform our traditions into modern, sustainable and eco-friendly practices.

This responsibility falls on each one of us, if we don’t care then who will? We have proved time and again, in the face of adversity, we stand together and fight for our cause. This is exactly the time for a fight but with ourselves. Make aware of the blissfully ignorant and promote the spirit of Diwali through your better practices. You may feel alone when others don’t take you seriously about the gravity of this issue but that is what they exactly did to climate change and look where we wound up. Never lose heart, we can do better. 

(By- Jatin Tanwar)
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