Diwali is here! Indian moms are probably in overdrive doing the cleaning and organizing and shopping and everything. All across the country, there’s a very festive vibe and not to mention the rain of sales everywhere! And if you’re still looking for some great deals, don’t forget to check out Guarented. Trust us, we have some pretty amazing discounts going on.
For most Indians, the very mention of Diwali brings to our heads two primary things – sweets & firecrackers. We’re not going to discuss many sweets, because hey! What’s Diwali without gorging on some mouthwatering desserts? But there are a few other things about Diwali and festivals in general that need our immediate attention.
Each year, after every festival, there’s invariably some bad news about accidents, overwhelming amounts of waste or other unpleasant incidents which occur due to the celebrations getting out of hand. And that is not great for anyone. That’s not what festivals are about and one person’s celebrations should not be the reason for another person’s discomfort.
If your someone who strongly believes that festivals should only bring about happiness in their wake, here are 10 practices to adopt so that everyone around you is safe and the negative footprint left by the celebrations is minimal.
1. Shop Responsibly
You must be wondering how this affects someone’s health. Well, directly, it probably doesn’t. Indirectly, it does. Each year, the sheer amount of waste we produce, especially plastic waste is tremendous. We’re running out of ways and funds to process and dispose of trash responsibly. During Diwali, this just goes into overdrive. Gifts you buy, the groceries you get, even the boxes that the sweets come in have some amount of plastic in them. All the fancy packaging that you get to impress people is ripped open and thrown the very next day and that plastic just accumulates on our planet which is already suffocating on toxic polymers.
What you can do is to make it a point to the only shop for eco-friendly, biodegradable products. Even better, make some gifts. Nothing touches a person’s heart more than meaningful, handmade gifts.
2. Say No To Firecrackers
We all love to visit friends and family during festivals. As per recent studies, traffic is at its peak during festival days because everyone’s on the road driving to see their loved ones. And due to that, pollution will be much more than it is on average days. Why add to all that toxic fume by bursting firecrackers?
It is true that some of us have a lot of nostalgia associated with firecrackers. Most of us grew up celebrating Diwali bursting firecrackers with everyone in the family. However, the earth is choking due to the sheer amount of pollution that humans have caused. We have a responsibility to leave better earth to the next generation and for that, saying no to firecrackers is important. If at all you cannot skip this part, buy varieties that release as little fumes as possible and make very little noise.
3. Open Grounds
If at all you skipped the point above and decided to get firecrackers, make sure that you use them in open ground and never inside your house. In cities, there’s an emerging trend of using firecrackers in your balconies because you know, cities are short on space. We cannot tell you just how dangerous this is. Like we said, best skip firecrackers, but if you can’t avoid them, find an open ground and burst them there.
And while playing with firecrackers, make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing made from natural materials. Synthetic materials catch fire easily and just latch on to your skin making the burns much worse. If you have long hair, keep it tied and away from potentials sparks and flames and cover your faces when the fumes get too much.
4. Upcycle Your decorations
No more buy plastic laced products in the name of decorations. Get creative and make your own DIY decorations with materials that are organic, recyclable and non-hazardous. The internet is filled to the brim with ideas for creative decorations and if you’ve got the time, this is the best way to go. And if you have to shop, make sure you shop from small vendors and not big chains. Everyone needs a reason to smile this Diwali, make sure you give someone enough reason to beam with happiness.
5. Spare The Animals
They did not do anything to deserve this treatment. From dogs to birds, to even little insects that are so vital for our food chain, take a bad hit when people go on bursting crackers for hours. The fumes they release, the noise it makes, the trash it leaves behind – everything about crackers disturbs these poor little creatures.
Stray dogs and cats take the worst hit. Some even end up with third-degree burns when people in the name of fun burst crackers around them. Is this what celebrations are about?
6. Quiet Is The New Loud
As hilarious as that sounds, the most classy way to celebrate Diwali would be to gather your friends and family, make some delicious food and spending quality time with each other. No animals would be harmed, no noise would be made, no fumes released and everyone wakes up to a happy morning the next day!
7. Clean Up After Yourselves
Don’t leave everything for the cleaners and maids, its Diwali for them too! And nobody wants to be burdened with all that work. If at all you have to make them do extra work, make sure that they are rewarded. The pre-festival cleaning that most of us do is pretty extensive, which is why you should join in and do some of it too! Then there’s the mess that some of us leave after bursting firecrackers. It probably would be best if you avoid this altogether as we said before.
8. Include Everyone!
Keep the less fortunate in your minds when you celebrate. If you know of organizations that lend helping hands to the under-privileged, donate to them with a full heart. Nothing beats the joy of putting a smile on someone’s face. Invite your house help and their family members for a meal. Distribute gifts to them as well. There are a million ways in which you can make the celebrations meaningful and without harming the environment or your own health.
9. Pick Non-Toxic Rangoli Powders
There are enough DIY instructions online that will let you make some organic rangoli powder right in your home. The cheaper varieties, mostly with chalk compounds, are probably not great for our health and the environment. Keep in mind that they get swept away the very next day, might as well use organic ones that cause the least reaction in our bodies and on our environment,
10. Festival Of Lights
But how much electricity do we need to burn to really make it a festival? Too many candles too is probably a bad idea because fire hazards are real horrors. Skip the overdose of lights altogether. A few diyas would bring just the same amount of happiness, right? The best ones are the earthen diyas that burn ghee or vegetable oil and emit the least harmful kind of fumes. Let’s avoid those Chinese variants that are basically tiny plastic strings.
Celebrations are vital for humankind. It brings us together, helps us bond, de-stress and enjoy the finer things in life. But Indian festivals, more than anything else, stands for love and good food. Visit your parents, grandparents or anyone who means the world to you. Give meaningful gifts, keep your phones away and spread the love!
Team Guarented wishes everyone a joyful and prosperous Diwali. We hope you get to eat lots of delicious food and that you stay safe and blessed away! Cheers!