We have put together a little checklist that will help you celebrate a more mindful and greener Diwali this year. Concepts like ‘sustainable’ and ‘eco-conscious’ have finally generated enough talk worldwide to become movements, and the credit goes to the increasing number of young climate and environmental activists. Plastics still decorate our houses, streets, walls, and oceans, but the effort to get rid of them still needs more firepower. With Diwali just around the corner, the time has come to acknowledge the effect of the customs (firecrackers and their contribution to air pollution) have on our planet and step into the new year with a resolution to reduce our carbon footprints.
- Say no to fireworks
With the surging levels of toxic smoke in the air, firecrackers (yes, all types of them) are a definite no-no. Along with polluting the air, these also cause high levels of noise pollution, which affects not just birds and stray animals, but also children, pets, and the elderly.
2. Light up your home with diyas and candles
Be mindful of the electricity you’re consuming this Diwali. Limit the number of electric lanterns and fairy lights, and remember to switch them off before heading to bed. Or better yet, substitute them with traditional diyas or candles—they are much more eco-friendly and cost-effective, and will also give your home a warm, traditional feel.
3. Take a mindful approach to Diwali parties and gifting
Give your gifts a personal touch by wrapping them up in recyclable paper yourself. If you are hosting a party at home make use of biodegradable cutlery, cups, and plates over plastic or thermocol. It’s a good idea to re-use the decorations you put up last year, discard any office or home waste responsibly, and keep Diwali shopping to a minimum, buying only what you need and not a thing more.
4. Gift a plant
Gift air-purifying plants or even an aroma diffuser to your loved ones this year—we all know we need plenty of these to clear up the smog; plus, they make adorable Diwali presents too.
5. Reinvent Diwali traditions to be more eco-friendly
Resolve to homemade snacks and sweets this year, it also helps avoid the unnecessary packaging that can harm the environment and can be a healthier option too. In many traditions, the oil bath is an important ritual in the morning of Diwali. Bring out the essential oils, body oils, natural soaps and indulge in some self-care. And let rangolis and torans be a joint effort too—get together with your family to create these, and make sure you’re using natural colors and minimal flowers.