The Supreme Court of India has banned sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), due to alarming deterioration in air quality levels. A three-judge SC bench, which was headed by Justice AK Sikri, has upheld its own order of 11 November 2016, according to which it suspended all licences which “permit sale of fireworks wholesale and retail within territory of NCR.” Civil society groups are coming together all over the country to campaign for a green Diwali and how to celebrate Diwali that is pollution free.
The Diwali ban must not prove to be a dampener. It could be the harbinger of a movement against the noise pollution and air contamination unleashed by ear shattering firecrackers and reducing sweets and sugar intake. Diwali, in the traditional sense, has little to do with myriad fireworks.
Here are 10 green Diwali ideas and pollution free festival of lights and how to celebrate Diwali without crackers.
1) Instead of polluting the environment, you can eschew the firecrackers and celebrate a really “Green Diwali”. It can be an eco-friendly affair this year. Don’t use electric lights. Instead, go for small earthen lamps and candles. It would reduce electricity consumption. Flickering lamps look better too. Go for LED lights if there is has to be electric illumination (they use 80% less energy than regular lights) to celebrate pollution free Diwali.
2) Although crackers are banned in Delhi, people in other places could go for environment-friendly ones that are considered less polluting than others. Better still, give firecrackers a complete miss this Diwali.
3) Use natural colors rather than chemical colors and use natural ingredients such as rice powder (white); pulses or turmeric (yellow); cloves or cinnamon (brown); cardamom or fennel (green)
4) Use fresh flowers such as marigold, jasmine, roses and lilies for decoration to suit the festive ambience in place of gaudy streamers and electric lights.
5) Use eco-friendly paint for your homes to celebrate pollution free Diwali.
6) Use organic incense sticks as well as fresh flowers. Stay away from synthetic room fresheners.
7) Eschew commercial sweets; they have too much artificial color and sugar. Make your own sweets such as Laddoos, Barfi, Kheer, Gajar ka halwa using natural items such as milk, coconut, jaggery, dry fruits, etc. They will be both unadulterated and nutritious.
8) Don’t buy wrapping paper for gifts and stop trees from getting cut. Use painted newspaper, pieces of cloth, etc. instead.
9) Try making your own Diwali cards. If you don’t fancy making them, go the technology way. Just tweet, message on Facebook or SMS your wishes or WhatsApp them.
10) Create awareness about the environment, organize nature walks and talks on the topic. You could also host a marathon on the subject to create awareness to celebrate pollution free Diwali.
You can still have the fun and celebrate a green Diwali clean Diwali. Let’s all take the pledge on green Diwali.
About the author: I am an environmentalist, technology evangelist, women empowerment advocate, writer and editor. Basically I am a storyteller at heart and want to make the world a better place. I want to be the catalyst for making the world green and clean and rid the Earth of disasters like global warming and climate change. You can mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me through LinkedIn, Twitter, together with Facebook. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
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