How to Celebrate a Green Diwali

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The Earth has Enough Problems Already. Avoid Crackers.

The Earth has Enough Problems Already. Avoid Crackers. Photograph © Gurmeet Sapal

Diwali is that time of the year when Indians across the country plunge into loud, raucous, and often wasteful celebrations. One of biggest problems Diwali celebrations cause is noise pollution (not to speak of the resulting air pollution due to the burning of firecrackers). Environmental organizations and the media have voiced their protest against this custom, which has marginally reduced the use of firecrackers with each passing Diwali. Yet Green Diwali is yet to become a widespread movement.

Avik Sapal (pictured above) is seven years old and studies in 'Shiv Nadar School. Noida, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state where Diwali is one of the loudest and most wasteful of festivals. He feels that the best thing about his school is that, they recycle all the paper waste in-house and use that paper again for students.

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Say No to Thermocol Plates

Say No to Thermocol Plates. Photograph © Gurmeet Sapal

Traditional banana leaf or teak leaf plates are being replaced by polystyrene or Thermocol plates owing to their easy availability. Hundreds of thousands of disposable plates, bowls and spoons made of non-biodegradable materials such as stretch polystyrene and plastic are used for Diwali feasts. These are more often than not ultimately dumped at landfills due to lack of proper garbage collection and disposal systems. Consider the environment, your health and the health of our planet, and stop using such items to celebrate Diwali.

Vidhi Jain (pictured above) is eight years old and has pledged that she will never use plastic and Thermocol disposable plates. 

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Wasteful. Harmful. Pointless! Why Burn Your Money on Crackers?

Wasteful. Harmful. Pointless! Why Burn Your Money on Crackers?. Photograph © Gurmeet Sapal

Millions of Indian Rupees are spent on firecrackers during Diwali. While the explosives provide a livelihood for thousands of people employed by the firecracker industry, especially in South India, one cannot overlook that industry's adverse impact on the environment, not to mention the fact that many children are illegally hired to produce these goods. The Indian Government has banned Chinese firecrackers, but it admits that it is not fully possible to enforce this on consumers due to market forces. Neither has it done anything to dissuade people from celebrating Diwali without firecrackers and curb air and noise pollution during the festival.

Smita Dhall (pictured above) is an artist who spends her time in India's national capital region (NCR) and her small place in the hills. She has been celebrating Diwali at her house in the hills for the last three years.

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Say No to Wasteful Packaging

Say ‘No’ to Wasteful Packaging. Photograph © Gurmeet Sapal

Each year, Diwali generates a lot of waste, much of which can be attributed to overdone decorative packaging most of which may contain non-biodegradable materials such as plastic in its various forms. While celebrating Diwali, think about the environmental effects of the festival and go for reusable and eco-friendly packaging when it comes to wrapping or unwrapping gifts you give and receive. 

Anika Aren (seen above) is a former TV producer who worked with Indian TV channels Zee News and Aajtak for over 12 years. She is passionate about responsible living.

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Save Me from Loud Noise

Save Me from Loud Noise. Photograph © Gurmeet Sapal

Festivals, especially  Diwali, are tough times for animals and birds. Pets, mostly peace-loving household dogs, are the most affected. It's the loud noise of the firecrackers again that is to blame. Dogs have sensitive ears and acute hearing. The sound of firecrackers can be very frightening for them. Even if you don't have pets, spare a thought for the stray dogs on the street in your neighborhood and stop burning firecrackers while celebrating Diwali this year.

Junior (the dog pictured above) lives with his family in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad and is popular among the kids for his friendly behavior. His owner Gurmeet Sapal is a filmmaker, cinematographer and a photographer based out of Ghaziabad. He wants to use his camera to trigger a positive change. His ultimate dream is to do full-time wildlife photography and organic farming in the hills.

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Your Citation
Das, Subhamoy. "How to Celebrate a Green Diwali." ThoughtCo, Oct. 18, 2016, Das, Subhamoy. (2016, October 18). How to Celebrate a Green Diwali. Retrieved from Das, Subhamoy. "How to Celebrate a Green Diwali." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 20, 2017).