Do not use electric lights to illuminate your home. Instead, opt for diyas (earthen lamps) and candles.
This will not only reduce the amount of electricity being consumed, the flickering diyas will look prettier too.
If you must use electric illumination, opt for LED lights. They use at least 80 per cent lesser energy than the regular ones and also come in various hues too.
Although there are a number of environment-friendly crackers that have begun to flood the market and are definitely less polluting than others, this Diwali give the fireworks a complete miss.
Get all the children of the community to go for a nature walk the evening before and collect dry leaves, grass, twigs etc. Then celebrate this festival of lights by lighting a bonfire on the terrace or in an open space and serve homemade sweets and sherbet.
Fill up balloons with glitter or small pieces of coloured paper and spend the evening bursting them, either with your family at home or with a lot of friends.
You could even have the kids blowing up brown paper bags and bursting them by jumping on them. The cheerful sound will be enough to usher in Diwali.
In earlier times, rangolis were made to feed the birds. This Diwali, go back to doing that.
Instead of using artificial colours, make your rangoli with spices and other food items as follows:
If you must paint your home during Diwali, then use eco-friendly paint.
Besides, here are a few ideas to decorate your home without having to paint it at all.
Although innumerable options are available commercially, many of them come with artificial colours and way too much sugar.
So this Diwali make your own sweets instead, using only natural products like milk, chickpea flour (besan), coconut, jaggery, dry fruits, sugar etc and keep them both nutritious and unadulterated.
Some of the choicest Diwali sweets you can try making at home would be:
Instead of buying expensive crockery for all your parties this festive season, go traditional and stay eco-friendly. Use banana leaves and small earthen glasses to serve the guests.
Organise community competitions both for adults and for the children. Some options:
If you are shopping for gifts, don’t buy any wrapping paper; save on it and stop trees from being cut.
Instead, wrap your gifts with painted newspaper / make your own gift bags with newspaper / use pieces of cloth lying about in the house, which you can embroider or handpaint, or even jute.
As for the gifts, instead of buying them, this year make them at home. Some options:
If you do want to go ahead and buy your gifts, then:
You can even draw pictures of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on wet mud with the help of an old pen, or even a matchstick. Let this dry in the sun and then paint it using natural vegetable and fruit colours. Another option is to take a dry leaf and paint on it, or stick pictures of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi underneath. You can also use betel or a square piece of banana leaf and paint the picture of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi with kumkum on it.
Make your own Diwali cards this year.
Cut out pictures and stick them on craft paper to make your very own customised rangoli drawing on the card.
Use kumkum and haldi to create Goddess Lakshmi’s footprints on your card.
You can even use ribbons, bindis, old clips and pieces of cloth to design your card with bright colours.
If making cards is not your forte, go tech savvy. This year just tweet, Facebook or simply SMS your wishes. Spread the word.
Instead of spending hours bursting crackers or drinking and partying, spend some time with underprivileged children.
Donate old clothes, stationary etc, play games with them or make sweets at home and celebrate Diwali with them.
Share your smile and spread cheer during this Festival of Lights.
You can also visit an old-age home and spend time with the elders sharing stories, listening to songs from old movies and eating good food.
When you go shopping, lend a helping hand to the elderly.
Arrange for an afternoon of mehendi sessions for all the ladies in your neighbourhood.
Spend an evening filled with card games and lots of sweet and salted snacks with everyone who lives nearby.
With these simple tips, I wish everyone a very Happy Diwali! I wish all of you a lot of happiness, health, prosperity and safety.
This year, let’s try and make the festival more meaningful and delightful. Let us promise that in our pursuit of happiness, we will not harm the environment and ourselves.
Source: rediff (By Aditi Bose)
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