The festival time is upon us. This year it looks slightly different but nevertheless, festivals are always like a fun holiday. Why not make this more interesting by having and eco-friendly Diwali?
Diwali time in our country is usually the time of low air quality. This year is no different. So when the air outside is too polluted, why not have a fun-filled get together at home with some eco-friendly ideas.
We have curated a list of small yet effective measures you can take this festive season. They won’t cost you too much money and you will end up with some great environment-friendly alternatives. So who is in to welcome the festive spirit with a dash of eco-friendly?
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You know the festive season is coming when mom tells you to pick up a broom and help her cleaning. The festive season means squeeky clean surfaces and deep cleaning routines throughout the entire hosehold.
It is during this cleaning, you may come across a lot of unwanted items. If you think that the item serves no purpose to you but could add value to someone else’s life then donate it. Decluttering is the first step to go about it.
After you have done getting rid of items you don’t need, it’s time to actually clean. Conventional cleaning relies on chemical products, plastic bottles, plastic packaging, sponges, etc. This scenario can be changed with a little bit of research and planning. Some of the things you can do this festive season are to repurpose old items for cleaning. Old toothbrushes to clean tough corners or kitchen sponges as bathroom cleaners.
Also, think of switching to environmental-friendly ingredients easily available in our house that work wonders as cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, lemon sometimes with a combination of soap, water and essential oil cleans better than the harmful toxic cleaners we buy.
Festival times mean decorations in and around the house. But our current choices may not always be planet-friendly. So opt for organic colours and real flowers for rangoli instead of plastic flowers and toxic colours. After all, festival decorations call for multiple creative approaches.
Don’t stop just at rangoli and think green when it comes to choosing idols for puja. Start buying idols made of only clay and mud. I have also seen people making it themselves with turmeric, vegetables, fruits, basically anything that’s bio-degradable. This way in case it needs to be submerged in water, it is not causing any harm.
Finally, instead of single-use non-recyclable decorative like plastic glitters, balloons and fairy lights, opt for eco-friendly diyas. Sharing a few conscious alternatives to our regular diyas to shop from.
Aromatic Coconut Shell Candle
by Brown Living India
Organic Cow Dung Diyas
Set of 24
by Sow and Grow
Lucky bamboo with Eco Friendly Diyas
2 diyas and 1 plant
by Nursery Live
Instead of wrapping a gift in bubble wrap or glossy plastic gift wrappers which ends up directly in landfills after a single-use, start using a recycled paper wrap, cardboard boxes and upcycled cloth bags.
Now the question arises what to gift? Most of the time we end up gifting something that’s of single or no use to the person at all. If it is possible, consider asking the person what they need. By doing so not only you are providing value to their life but also saving a product from the chances of ending up in a garbage can.
Some of the things I have been doing for a year now is to gift someone an experience/service rather than a thing. For example, buying them a subscription of their favourite OTT platform or donating to a charity by their name. Be creative about it, sometimes all they need is your time and attention.
If you are thinking of gifting a hamper to all your loved ones, here are our sustainable suggestions.
Eco Diwali Gift Box (Small)
contains six eco products and one goodie.
Medium and Large sizes available as well.
by Be Karmic
consists of a foldable laptop stand, two natural deodorants, two natural soaps and one shampoo bar.
Sustainable Celebration hamper
contains one cork tray, four cork coasters, one cork candle stand, incense sticks with a cork stand.
The festive season is that time of the year when you splurge all your money on clothes and accessories. This year rather than buying from big fast fashion giants, let us buy from local artisans and support small businesses. Our curated list of festive brands for her and festive looks for him should help you out.
Before you think of making a new purchase, go through your closet. Make yourself aware of the what you wear and what you don’t; avoid buying those kinds and stick to the list of things you need.
Also think quality over quantity. Try to buy natural fabric and avoid synthetic ones. Natural fabrics are bio-degradable and are light on the skin. Whereas synthetic fabrics tend to be harsh and are non-biodegradable.
If you want to take an offbeat approach, maybe try thrift shopping. Our Instagram #SHS Highlight has a lengthy list of thrift shops you can buy from. Upcycling is also a fun thing to try, converting old items into something completely new just elongate its lifetime making the whole process more sustainable. Check out Use Me Works for some inspiration.
Homemade, plastic-free treats
The waste from wrapped candies, the plastic packaging from the food you have ordered, the packet from the sweets you bought all adds up to the plastic waste problem. Instead, try to store up on things from the local farmer’s market. Better yet choose companies that sell ingredients that are organic, sustainably harvested, made using fair trade practices and packed in easily recyclable materials.
You can also make awesome homemade treats. Include your close ones in this process; ask them to help you with the grocery shopping and the entire process of cooking and baking. Active participation makes people happier and brings them a sense of belonging. Our homemade Gulab Jamun recipe should help you get started.
And just like that, we have reduced our carbon footprint this festival season. Wasn’t it easy? Small steps do make a difference. In case you loved this eco-friendly Diwali approach, share with your friends and ask them to jump of this bandwagon.
Shiny is currently pursuing a master’s degree from Jadavpur University in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism. She is in her twenties and loves to travel through the pages of a book and IRL. She dreams of using film as a tool to spread awareness about carbon footprint. You could also check her journey as a sustainability enthusiast on her Instagram.