Did you know that India has been ranked as the world's eighth most polluted country, and Delhi as the fourth most polluted city globally? In the fifth annual World Air Quality Report of 2022, India surpassed the recommended air quality index, being a staggering ten times higher than what the World Health Organization recommends.
Can you imagine that the Diwali celebration, spanning just a single night of festivities, unleashes a breathtaking 60,340 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere which is the annual CO2 emissions of approximately 12,000 cars in a year! This remarkable statistic illuminates the massive carbon footprint woven into the age-old Diwali celebration tradition, urging us to rethink our celebratory practices and underscoring the need to address the cry for cleaner skies for the sake of our planet Earth.
Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time of joy, togetherness, and renewal. Diwali celebration brings families and communities together to share love and light. It can shine brighter when we minimize our carbon footprint and prioritize the planet's well-being by embracing a green and eco-friendly approach. Let Diwali 2023 be a meaningful example of our commitment to a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable future for all.
With this guide, let's embark on a journey to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, without compromising on the festive spirit to let our traditions shine brightly without harming the planet.
Green Diwali begins at home
Central to the Diwali celebration is the practice of Diwali cleaning, where homes are meticulously tidied up to welcome the divine. In this modern age, the focus has shifted towards making Diwali cleaning not only about a spick and span environment but also about sustainability.
While cleaning, some items come to our hands, which weren’t used ever so remain assured, those are not going to be used ever again! Consider donating to a charitable cause or give a call to the POOLit community by listing your old items on POOLit Classifieds. Also, ensure a proper waste management technique so that the waste material is sorted and properly disposed of or is fed to the recycle bin so the landfill ends with reduced waste.
As we embark on our Diwali cleaning rituals, let's remember that our efforts can extend beyond our green home, illuminating the path to a more sustainable and cleaner world.
Green and gorgeous: Eco-friendly decorations for a Green Diwali celebration!
Eco-friendly decorations have become the hallmark of responsible and conscious celebrations. By opting for decor items made from sustainable materials or upcycling existing items, we can significantly reduce our environmental impact. This year, opt for green choices that can transform our house into an eco-friendly house .
Diwali special rangoli: This year, ditch the toxic and chemical-induced colored powders for your rangoli. Instead, craft stunning natural Diwali rangoli designs that celebrate the natural beauty of our planet Earth. You can use a palette of vibrant flower petals from your local market or your garden, intricately colored rice, and textured sands, as you let your creativity flourish and your eco-conscious spirit shine.
Say farewell to metal oil lamps and LED lights: Illuminate your green home with biodegradable clay lamps that add a warm, rustic charm to your Diwali celebration and contribute to a more sustainable future. These earth-friendly lamps, made from natural materials, beautifully merge the age-old customs with a contemporary commitment to a greener planet, reminding us that our choices can light the way toward a cleaner, more responsible, and eco-friendly Diwali celebration.
DIY upcycled and eco-friendly decoration ideas: With a little color, turn your old newspapers into paper lanterns, or, go and grab those threads or wool balls that you haven’t used ever and turn them into festive torans. Channel your creativity by upcycling overlooked items into imaginative festive decorations, not only reducing waste but also infusing your celebrations with a one-of-a-kind, eco-conscious charm that echoes the spirit of renewal and resourcefulness, reminding us that beauty can be found in unexpected places, and every piece of art we create adds to the uniqueness of our Diwali festivities.
Gifts with a green heart: Sustainable surprises for Diwali
Eco-friendly and personalized Diwali hampers embody the ideal blend of thoughtfulness and sustainability in today's gift-giving landscape. Carefully curate your green gifts that reflect a deep personal connection, often by incorporating the recipient's name, preferences, or memories. At the same time, let your personalized sustainable gifts carry a planet-friendly message, as they are typically made from recycled, or biodegradable materials.
You can choose from this list of green gifts for Diwali 2023, that have the essence of eco-consciousness–
Handmade surprises: Handmade surprises are the embodiment of creativity, love, and thoughtfulness, meticulously woven into every stitch, stroke, or carefully chosen ingredient. You can consider gifting hand-knitted or crocheted items like bags, blankets, and bags. You can prepare scented or decorative candles made with natural wax and essential oils. Go for bath salts or biodegradablesoap bars with unique scents and ingredients.
Hand-carved wooden items and pottery: You have a wide range of items here, from functional wooden utensils to intricately designed figurines and exquisite home decor pieces. Opt for green gifts that are crafted on a potter's wheel and expertly glazed to achieve a flawless finish, encompassing an array of exquisite items, including mugs, bowls, and vases that bear the mark of artistry and craftsmanship.
Home-baked treats: With this Diwali celebration, bring down your old recipe book and sharpen your baking skills. Prepare cookies, cakes, or jams. If you are grabbing your gifts choose personalized paper packaging from the sellers.
Tech-savvy giving: You can consider digital gifts like e-books, music, or online courses, a sustainable choice that minimizes the demand for physical presents, allowing knowledge and entertainment to flourish in the digital realm.
Gift from your garden: Never the least, choose potted plants that make wonderful eco-friendly gifts. This not only enhances indoor air quality but also cultivates enduring memories.
Sparkling skies with green surprises: green fireworks for a Green Diwali
Traditional crackers, often filled with toxic constituents, significantly contribute to elevated particulate matter (PM) levels in the air upon ignition that harm the respiratory system, posing severe long-term health risks, particularly affecting children, pregnant women, and senior citizens.
In contrast, green crackers, an eco-friendly alternative, have the potential to alleviate air pollution during Diwali. One distinguishing feature of green crackers is the absence of barium nitrate, a highly hazardous component in traditional counterparts. Instead, they employ safer alternatives, such as potassium nitrate and aluminum, minimizing the health risks associated with magnesium, barium, and other harmful pollutants.
For our planet, the best alternative is to abandon fireworks completely, if not, then we should opt for noiseless, eco-friendly fireworks that release fewer pollutants or explore laser light shows, which are more sustainable.
Diwali Night: Where the feast completes the festivities
When preparing your Diwali feast, consider opting for locally sourced and organic ingredients, as they not only enhance the flavors of your dishes but also support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation. For example, instead of importing exotic ingredients from faraway places, you can savor the freshness of locally grown fruits and vegetables, contributing to the livelihood of farmers in your community. Likewise, by selecting organic products, you ensure that your meal is free from harmful pesticides and chemicals while promoting sustainable farming practices.
Additionally, to further your eco-friendly celebration, plan your menu carefully, avoiding excessive food items that could lead to wastage. Utilize leftovers creatively, such as transforming extra vegetables into a delicious soup or incorporating surplus rice into a hearty stir-fry. By storing leftovers properly and repurposing them in innovative ways, you not only reduce food waste but also continue to enjoy the festive flavors even after Diwali has passed.
Lighten the air, carpool with care: a Green Diwali celebration
As the festival of Diwali approaches, the excitement in the air is palpable, and so is the increased traffic congestion and air pollution that often accompanies it. However, it doesn't have to be this way. Carpooling is a simple yet effective way to reduce both traffic on the roads and the alarming levels of air pollution during the festive season. Whether you're heading to the office for the Diwali celebration or visiting relatives after a long time in your festive mood, consider sharing a ride with friends, family, or colleagues. Carpooling not only eases the burden on our already congested roadways but also contributes significantly to a greener, more sustainable Diwali celebration.
Remember, a sustainableDiwali is not about sacrificing the joy of the festival but about celebrating with greater mindfulness and responsibility. By making eco-friendly choices, we can protect the environment, reduce pollution, and set a positive example for future generations about how to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali. Let Diwali 2023 light up our lives and the world in an eco-conscious way, leaving behind only the footprints of wonder and the legacy of a greener and brighter future. Happy, sustainable, and Green Diwali!