Festivals strengthen our faith, bring joy in our lives and give us a break from the mundane. Especially in the time of COVID -19, when the entire world is experiencing unprecedented distress, festivals are seen as much needed relief. But Indian festivals have more to offer! These are not mere outer celebrations, rather meaningful festivities thoughtfully sculptured by our Rishis highlighting our pro-environmental culture and values.
Besides thoughtful consideration of the outer environment, these festivals are sculptured to nourish our inner environment. Our rishis very logically placed them through the year to sync them with the nature and effects of changing seasons on our bodies.
Various festivals observed in the winter season behold the intent of fighting both physical & mental lethargy, and negativity experienced due to rise in the ‘tamas guna’ & boosting mental and physical fitness.
Diwali is a festival where on ‘Amavasya’ or a no moon night we light up houses with diyas/lamps symbolizing spiritual journey from ‘tamas’ or darkness to ‘jyoti’ or light. This is a festival of recuperating our inner as well as outer prakriti.
For years, we have been neglecting the outer prakriti/ nature & indiscriminately exploiting it. COVID -19 crisis has pulled our attention to the microscopic level to which we have corrupted our planet. This global lockdown has given us a taste of the environment that probably our forefathers enjoyed and we could enjoy too, only if we were a little more careful. These times of crisis have only reiterated that going forth, each and every lifestyle choice has to be eco-friendly. Diwali brings us an opportunity to turn our ways and switch sides from ignorance to responsibility, from tamas to sattva, from grey to green. Keeping on the same page, we bring to you 5 Ways to SWITCH YOUR SIDE to a Green and Prosperous Diwali.
Here you go:
1. Switch to Diyas
This time, instead of using wax or plastic diyas, light up your house with oil earthen diyas. You will not only reduce the electricity consumption but also help those numerous potters earn a livelihood. This would also reduce the Electronic waste!
2. Switch to Eco-friendly Rangoli
Do not use the bright rangoli colors made of acid, mica and glass as they are non-biodegradable and add to the water waste.
Did you know, in ancient India, Rangoli was a way to feed birds and the little animals during the festivities?
Let us follow the footsteps of our wise ancestors and make rangoli using colorful food grains, rice, Haldi and flower petals.
3. Switch to Sustainable Gift Items
This Diwali up your gifting game! Opt for sustainable and eco-friendly gift items like plants which not only give a cozy feel to the house but also purify the indoor air.
Support the cause of ‘Vocal for Local’ by gifting jute and khadi items.
4. Switch to Recycled Decor
Diwali is a festival where you take out all the old/unwanted things out of your house. Instead of throwing such things away, show your creative side and repurpose them into decorative items. Involve the kids at home and make a fun DIY project out of this.
5. Switch to No Plastic
From gift wrapping papers to disposable tableware used during parties, everything has plastic in it. Add a traditional twist to your parties by serving your guest in pattals or banana leaf.
Old sarees and newspapers and hand-made paper can be used for gift wrapping purposes adding an ethnic and creative touch.
With these simple steps, let us celebrate this festival of light by doing away with our unsustainable lifestyle and take the world towards a healthier environment.
A happy, bright and green Diwali to everyone!