Brighten up and lighten up as the festival of lights is just around the corner. With preparations in full swing and local shops studded with sutli bombs, anars, chakris, fuljhadis and a lot more; we tend to forget that Diwali is beyond firecrackers and all the noise around it. Indeed the festive season celebrates love by exchanging gifts which begins with some serious shopping trips, but the essence has always been spiritual that signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair.
However, in the recent years the extravagant celebrations have not only put a great strain on the environment, but also health of people around us. Air pollution levels rising, food wastage, plastic waste, elderly people and animals suffering from anxiety attacks are some of the reasons why it is high time we celebrate Diwali in a responsible manner. Here are a few ways to ensure that this year’s Diwali is celebrated in a way that is more than just firecrackers.
Cook and Care
Diwali calls in for an array of sweets. From barfis, pedas, ladoos, halwas to gujiyas, this festive season indulge in a cook-at-home activity with your family. Our elders have some of the best recipes that have been treasured over the years. So go ahead, put on an apron and spend some quality time making sweets. At the end of the day you wouldn’t just enjoy the process but also you get to eat all of it!
Meet your loved ones
It’s high time we take an exit from wishing over social media through images and gifs. Hop into your best traditional wear and meet up with family and friends and catch up like old times. You can also engage in family games like cards, carom, ludo, jengas, twisters, karaoke, the list is unending.
Gifting a plant has entered the gifting trend but you can go a step ahead with kitchen herbs, feng shui plants, air purifying plants, and bonsai are a few that make great eco-conscious gifts. Other environment friendly gifts include, jute bags, khadi clothes, solar powered gadgets or handmade gifts.
While the festive season rings in visiting our relatives and loved ones; take out time to think of those who have been on their own. Celebrate this season with kids at an orphanage, elderly at an old age home or a healthcare facility. Also you can donate supplies like clothes and other essentials to an NGO.
Rangoli drawn at every doorstep beams of creativity. But you can make this activity a bonus by also helping creatures around the house. In the olden days, rangolis were made to feed the birds; why not do the same this time around as well. Instead of using artificial colours, make your rangoli with rice and, cereals and pulses. You can also shelter terrified stray pets if you come across any. Our four legged friends do not enjoy firecrackers.
While the apex court has imposed a blanket ban on the use of firecrackers and suggesting using green crackers, we ask why use them at all. The eco-friendly alternatives are collecting twigs, waste cardboards, papers etc. and burn them all in a bonfire, with safety measures around kids of course. But if you still need the thrill, you could opt for eco-friendly crackers that are made from recycled paper. The noise produced by these crackers is also within the decibel limits set by the Central Pollution Control Board.