Diwali is a celebration of righteousness and the victory of good over evil. Whether it
commemorates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, or to celebrate
Lord Krishna destroying evil in the form of Narakasura, the point of the festival is to celebrate
everything that's good in the world, a time for being positive and looking towards the future with
Before firecrackers arrived on the scene, Diwali was celebrated simply as a time to get together
with the family and celebrate by wearing new clothes and through a special feast. The other
highlight of course, was the lighting of lamps. Diwali or Deepavali means ‘parade of lights’.
Bursting Firecrackers - Think About It
Diwali time now involves the bursting of firecrackers and frenzied shopping. New age Diwalis
have become a time of high air and noise pollution, and a hazard to pedestrians and traffic as
kids burst crackers on roads.
Firecrackers have been a part of Diwali for a long time now, but the sheer variety of such
firework display has grown to mindboggling proportions. In recent times, there has been
an increased awareness about pollution and the negative aspect of child labor used in the
production of crackers.
Kids who have pets at home see how terrified the animals get at the noise of loud crackers.
These and other reasons have led a lot of kids to stop bursting crackers. But the tempting
array of existing fireworks and the new attractions added each year ensure that the market for
firecrackers still remains strong.
Firecrackers contain chemicals like copper, zinc, lead and magnesium which add toxins to the
already polluted atmosphere. Smoke from crackers can cause eye irritations and respiratory
problems. The noise pollution created by constant bursting of crackers disturbs the peace and
can even cause ear damage.
Go Green This Diwali
There are many ways through which you can be eco-friendly this Diwali. Here are a few
Avoid Firecrackers: While not everyone will be willing to say no to firecrackers, this is one way
to reduce the pollution and other hazards caused by them. Buy crackers that rely more on
display and less on noise to create an effect. A lovely burst of showering sparks lighting up the
dusk sky can be a treat to watch. Check to see if the noise levels of the crackers are within the
limits set by the Pollution Control Board. Also check to see if child labor has been involved in the
manufacturing of these crackers.
To lessen the amount of fireworks bought, pool them. Apartment dwellers and residents of
housing societies can gather at a common place and burst crackers together, at a specified
time, and this will be a way to gather together to celebrate this festival while at the same time,
reducing the sheer numbers of firecrackers burst during this time.
Clean Up Litter: The amount of litter created by firecrackers can be huge. Paper wrappings,
chemical wastes, and metal wires can all pile up and add to the dirt and dust in the
neighborhood. Remember too, that Diwali coincides with the rainy season in many parts of
India. When the rains pour down, this litter can turn into a soggy, smelly mess.
Remember to clean up. Have a good time, but also be a responsible citizen. You wouldn’t
clutter up your house with scraps of paper and chemical waste, would you? So, why subject
your neighborhood to such a treatment?
Pick up the papers and the metal wastes, sweep up the chemicals spilled out of the crackers
and dispose of them as safely as possible. Do not put this off, because if the rains come, it will
make the task harder. Make this a clean and safe Diwali.
Set Up Lamps: Diwali is traditionally a celebration associated with lights, and lighting up your
house and your neighborhood can be a good idea. Do not rely on electric decorative lighting.
Use earthen lamps and candles. You can now get a wide variety of decorative lamps and
scented candles. Remember to buy a set of the traditional earthen variety. These lamps, lit
with oils and cotton wicks are not only eco-friendly, but they also help local potters and artisans
make a living.
Gifts: Go organic in your gift giving. Gift herbal products, scented candles, flowers and ethnic
decorative items this Diwali. These gifts are apt for the season and are also eco-friendly.
Celebrate this Diwali, going back to the roots. Light up your house, get together with family
and friends, exchange gifts and sweets. Add to the feel good factor by being eco-friendly and
helping to keep the neighborhood and the environment clean and safe.
Have a very Happy Diwali!