Diwali is on the cards and most of the households across India have started making preparations for celebrating the festival of lights. The most significant part of Diwali celebration down the ages is lighting up the houses with mud lamps, burning of fireworks, distributing sweets and worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Ganeshafor holistic prosperity and well-being. But if we look back at the history of this festival we can see. Diwali has very little to do with eye shattering crackers and risky fireworks. The festival aims at signifying the power of light over darkness, good over evil and enlightenment over ignorance.
Since the government has taken a pledge to reduce pollution in our atmosphere Diwali can be a good occasion for promoting our awareness to the public. Here are a few simple ways in which you can celebrate a safe and eco-friendly Diwali:
- Instead of buying electric lamps (that lead to greater electricity consumption) go for earthen lamps that are Eco-friendly and appealing to the eyes. You can also replace electric bulbs with LED lamps with less electricity consumption level.
- Cleaning our household before Diwali is considered auspicious. We should also take initiative to keep our surroundings clean by removing the garbage post Diwali celebration. Do not encourage burning of trash as it leads to more air pollution or wait for the municipal corporation to clean your locality.
- Restrain burning crackers to a certain limit. Shun the fireworks that give out loud sound and smoke. Crackers contain high amounts of lead and cadmium and when burnt, they give out poisonous nitrogenoxide and sulphur dioxide gases in the air causing damage to our respiratory system.
- Plastic waste is one of the major contributing factors to air pollution during Diwali. Gifts, sweet boxes, crackers and other collectibles specially meant or Diwali wrapped in plastic choke water bodies and landfill causing air pollution. Avoid using plastic and replace it with cloth, jute and paper bags for Diwali shopping. Collect the plastic wastes so that they can be recycled or disposed in a proper way.
- A campaign “Harith Diwali Swasth Diwali” has been undertaken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through various activities to encourage people combat air pollution in wide scale. Schools, colleges and other public institutions have been requested to administer the pledge formulated by the government during the assembly up to Diwali.
- A circular has been issued for the schools to aware children about the harmful effects of fireworks and help them choose Eco-friendly alternatives. Rallies, seminars and endeavours at all levels are carried out to sensitize common people about the benefits of a “Green Diwali”.
The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have successfully formulated environment friendly fireworks viz. flower pots, crackers, sparklers etc. There fireworks are now available in the Indian market for consumers and sellers. About 165 firework manufacturers have been linked to this new agenda and 65 more are in the process of joining hands.
Diwali or Deepavali is essentially a festival of lights and our united effort to celebrate a green Diwali will make this festival a brighter and safer one!