For some years now, the words “eco-friendly” and “Diwali” have often been heard together. Of the many reasons why celebrating a festival that’s both fun and mindful would make sense, the strongest would be the fact that it allows us to enjoy ourselves without being a burden to the environment. India is becoming an increasingly conscious country, and it is, in true Diwali spirit, heartwarming to notice the concern our people are beginning to develop for their surroundings.
Hours of fireworks, bright electric lights, colourful, dazzling boxes of store-bought sweets and gifts might seem like the elements most necessary to celebrate an extravagant Diwali. But their consequences on the environment make us wonder if they’re really that important for a great festive season, and if not, what alternatives do we have that don’t dampen the fun?
Well, we’ve got you here. Here are five fantastic, eco-friendly celebration ideas for this Diwali.
1) Avoid fireworks
Perhaps the most obvious item in this list, fireworks are known air-pollutants that can be eschewed in favour of quieter, less smoky fun. Crackers are known to cause anxiety attacks in infants, elderly people and animals, and produce various gases that can damage the air you breathe.
You can instead go for eco-friendly crackers that don’t produce a lot of smoke, and are within a government regulated decibel limits, although be cautioned that they are not widely available. A more conscious option would be to collect all the garbage you see in your neighbourhood, including dry leaves, twigs and fallen branches, and set them alight for a fun Diwali-night bonfire!
2) Use traditional lighting
Diyas lit with oil, or little candles are the way to go! Apart from being cost-effective and eco-friendly, lighting your house up the old fashioned way will give your place a classy, palatial look.
The warm, soft light won’t just make your home look beautiful, but can also make you feel calm and comfortable. Studies show that yellow light acts as a relaxant and elevate your mood far better than stark, cold electric lights can.
Additionally, of course, you save on energy, and therefore, your electricity bill as well!
3) Eco-friendly gifts
Avoid those conventional, cliched gifts consisting of little idols, sweets and crackers this Diwali, and gift your loved ones something more memorable. Germinable seeds, saplings, feng-shui plants, bonsai plants, jute bags, khadi clothes, notebooks or journals made from handmade paper, showpieces made from recyclable items… the list goes on and on! There’s a ton of stuff you can gift your friends without burning a hole in your pocket, or in the ozone layer!
Want to be even more unconventional? There’s a wide range of solar powered electronics you can choose from to gift your tech-savvy buddies a gizmo-friendly Diwali!
4) Homemade Sweets
Yes, we know Diwali is incomplete without gorging on tons of mithai. And no, we don’t judge. It’s a happy festival, after all, and treating yourself to all the sugar and ghee in the world is, for this one day, the definition of happiness.
But this year, instead of ordering large kilograms of sweets from the mithaiwalla for both yourself and your loved ones, why not go for something more personal? Sweet boxes from stores are often wrapped in glossy plastic, and made from non-recyclable materials that can contribute to the piles of waste that already burden our ecosystem.
Make your own sweets at home and gleam in the compliments about your phenomenal cooking skills! You can find a ton of easy to make, yet delicious recipes online. If you’re looking for something more health conscious, there are options like dried fruits, beetroot halwa, wheat flour barfi and more!
5) Celebrate together
And finally, what could be more wholesome this Diwali than enjoying it with your closest friends and family. Plan, coordinate and pick a place to have your Diwali bash this year. Long conversations, games and good food, all in the company of the people you truly cherish, that’s what Diwali is all about.
Celebrating Diwali together as a group also helps you save on an unbelievable amount of energy. And with everyone in one place, hours of fun, laughter and good spirits are guaranteed!
If you’re thinking of throwing the perfect Diwali party for your friends, and need the right kind of look for your home, you can check out tons of options here.
So, what are you waiting for? Now that you know how to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, get your loved ones together and… what’s the expression?… have a blast, the eco-friendly kind!