Let's take an oath this year to celebrate Diwali in the most eco-friendly manner.
How you ask? Here's how –
1. SAY NO TO CRACKERS. We all are in love with the fresh air of our clean and green cantonment. How often have you woken up the day after Diwali and wondered what happened to the clean and earthy scent which you enjoy every day? We are an educated lot for heaven's sake, so if we don't realise that our momentary happiness is actually ruining this planet, then we suggest that you buy some property in Mauritius and be the first to drown when the sea rises due to global warming.
2. Who doesn't like a well lit house during Diwali? But before you go off to sleep, do SWITCH THOSE DECORATIVE LIGHTS OFF. Wasting electricity means that coal (non-renewable source of energy) was burnt for no actual use. Please realise that there are people who don't get electricity at all! Don't rub it in with your Disneyland of a house.
3. Gift wrappers, papers, cardboard sweet boxes, or similar items which usually flood your dustbins during Diwali can be saved for a better use. Don't faujis just love hosting parties in their beautiful lawns or terraces? Winter is coming (cool eh! ;)) and bonfires are common in our parties. So next time you have a bonfire in your garden, use all these waste (and easily combustible) items to get the fire going. Not only are you saving the earth from extra burden of waste material, you are also using less wood.
4. Try to avoid powdered rangoli colours available in market. They have chemicals in it which give it it's distinct colour and once you sweep it off and add it to the soil, those harmful chemicals find their way into our ecosystem. So use flower petals of various colours to make a rangoli or use natural colours to dye rice flour and use that for your rangoli.
5. If you are hosting a party or a get-together at your place, then do not use disposable plates and glasses. You are simply increasing the burden of non-biodegradable wastage on our already polluted planet.
In the same way, do not use plastic flowers to decorate your home this Diwali. How long are you going to use them... two years? Or till the current tenure of your posting, right? We don't feel like packing all that stuff up while moving to the next military station, and it often finds its way to the dustbin. Instead, use real flowers like marigold and roses. After Diwali is over, you can mix them up with the garden soil and it will be gone!
[The writer wrote the suggestions for the denizens of army colonies, in one of which she lives, but they're just as valid for those who live outside the fences.]