Latest posts by Nupur Gill (see all)
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Every time a festive season comes along in India, there is always the pollution aftermath to deal with. But there is much more than the obvious pollution that happens. So how do we deal with it all?
While we will not delve into everything we can do this Diwali, here are a few basic things that can go a long way. Will one, or some of us, doing something have any impact? Yes. I heard it somewhere, but I like to say this filmi version of a Hindi saying, “boond boond se sagar bharta hai.” Every step we take is a step forward.
I will start from the obvious, but hang on!
Abstain from the Crackers
These lovely lights in the sky unfortunately are loaded with chemicals and pollutants that not only pollute our atmosphere, but also generate garbage besides seeping into soil and water. The chemicals used to make these fireworks in factories too pose grave danger to the labour, which in many cases comprises of a large number of children. If we will not be okay with our children at such factories, why should we be when it comes to others’?
Refraining from the fireworks will not only keep our environment clean, but will keep our innocent and vulnerable children safe.
(Incidentally, the Supreme Court of India has just reintroduced the ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region to safeguard citizens’ right to a clean habitable environment to live in.)
Say Yes to Organics
How does this have to do with anything? Whether it is Rangoli or the food we eat, chemicals harm us and the environment. Switching to organic and natural produce reduces the pressure on both – our health and the environment.
Lights Lights Baby
Artists, Diwali and eco enthusiasts have found beautiful ways to upcycle things and convert them into lovely lamps and candles. Look out for these at Diwali markets and online. Or better still, get in touch with your creative side and try your hand at upcycling your own stuff at home!
Go for the natural candles, they still let off pollutants but are known to be better off than their paraffin wax counterparts.
Shop Without Abandon
Forgot Guddu Aunty’s gift or Bubbly Massi’s sweets last Diwali? Plan ahead! Chalk out all you need and shop once. Multiple trips to the market means more fossil fuels burnt, unless you walk it. But it could still mean multiple transactions at the same shop – so more paper as bills and more energy use by servers!
And those of us going online, be mindful. For everything we order comes with a whole lot of wasted packaging, and a delivery run to your doorstep just for that one pair of cute earrings. Try ordering multiple things from the same vendor to minimise packing. Even better, if possible, just try out the earrings when out shopping yourself!
What’s in the Cupboard?
We all like to dress up for all the parties and the D-day! Many of us are prone to think we have nothing to wear…and tradition demands new clothes! But hey, have you checked your cupboard lately? There may just be something beautiful or smart in there, and perhaps new too that you have not been able to wear all this time. Why not give that a chance with a fresh look?
And while you are rummaging through your wardrobe, do a good deed and give that very wearable but oh so last Diwali outfit to someone less privileged. We could all spread some cheer!
Happy Diwali Folks!