Lights, candles, firecrackers and sweets – yes, its that time of the year again. In the name of preparing for the festival of lights, we spend time and money to make a brighter and memorable Diwali for our friends and family. Which means we often go overboard with the tinsel and the decorations. But the festive season is about celebrating friendship, togetherness and happiness. This Diwali let’s concentrate on celebrating the festive spirit.
But celebrating the festive spirit doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your home. Do it in a simple yet fun and sustainable way with these ideas.
During Diwali time is pollution levels rise significantly in India. Air pollution and noise pollution caused by all the firecrackers and candles greatly impact the well-being of humans, animals and the environment around us. however there are so many alternatives to choose from to reduce the carbon footprint we leave behind as the season passes.
Use oil diyas in place of candles
Diwali decor is incomplete without lights. Most houses that are lit up for the occasion, including long string lights. These consume electricity and are not eco-friendly as they are made with plastic casing. You can opt or earthen oil diyas. These little diyas have become the symbol of Diwali. They are lovely, minimal, and cause almost no damage to the environment. Since diyas are reusable and can be used all-year-round, they are an excellent alternative to candles. In fact, pick up a few fragrance diffusing lamps as well. Fill your home with a divine fragrance like lemons, orange even some floral scents. Using the right oils can also rid your home of any mosquitoes, lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil smell great and are natural pesticides!
If you wish to use electric lights in your home, it is best to go with LED lamps or lights. The energy consumed by these lights are far less compared to regular lights and are available in multiple colours. You can also use lanterns for lights – they come in different shapes, sizes and colours.
No Firecrackers – lanterns instead?
Firecrackers are a huge contributor to intense noise and air pollution. Harmful matter shoots into the air potentially harming humans, animals and the environment alike. In the last couple of years, pollution has significantly risen around the time of the festival. Keeping in mind the consequences, it is best to avoid firecrackers entirely. Encourage children in other fun activities to amuse them instead. This could be lanterns that they could light up!
As it is harder said than done, many may not do away with firecrackers completely. A solution to this would be to organise a small community firework show, where the fireworks being burst significantly reduces. This way people can still enjoy a few firecrackers, without greatly impacting the environment to cause unnecessary ailments.
Flowers and natural colours for rangoli
It’s time to move away from using chemically coloured rangoli powder to decorate your flooring. After the festival is done, it becomes chemical waste which is toxic to the environment. You can opt for natural colours and flowers in its place. Chrysanthemums, roses, lotuses and leaves make for a very lively rangoli. Natural colours can also be used such as turmeric powder, and natural dyes. You could even improvise and create rangolis with grains and pulses. This method is eco-friendly and can be easily become bird feed the next day!
Upcycle home decor
Forget about splurging like you do every Diwali – you can decorate your home with items you already have at home. Flowers are your best friend during Diwali because you can decorate almost your entire home with the various colours you have to choose from. Starting with the entrance, you can make your own toran. Torans are bunting that is hung at the entrance of the house during the festival to give your home that festive touch.
This is a good time for you to make use of those old sarees that have been left untouched for too long. Twist the colourful sarees and dupattas to make streamers and decorate windows and hallways. Old newspapers can be painted on and used as wall decorations as well.
Keep the above points in mind, and you will be able to celebrate an eco-conscious Diwali. Let the festive spirit bring cheer to everyone including your family, friends, animals and the rest of the world. So let’s try to reduce waste – chemical and otherwise – this time around and work together to create a greener world for us and future generations to live in.