>Celebrate an Environmentally Safe Diwali
Celebrate an Environmentally Safe Diwali
Did you know that diyas lit on the moonless Diwali night signifies the end
of darkness of ignorance and the beginning of light that enlightens all?
Well, this Diwali enlighten yourself towards the hazards that boisterous
celebrations of Diwali poses to our environment.
This articles endeavours to sensitise the readers towards celebrating an
environmentally safe Diwali by pointing out the major impacts that Diwali
has on our environment. It is hoped that this articles will encourage you to
celebrate a green Diwali, where there will be an explosion of joy without
How to celebrate an Eco
Now, that you are interested in celebrating an Eco - Sensitive Diwali, the
first thing that you need to do is to make yourself aware about the effects
the traditional Diwali celebrations has on the Mother Nature. Given below
are three major environmental impacts that Diwali Festival have on our
Pollution through Firecrackers - "Say 'No' to Fire
crackers and 'Yes' to life!"
For most people lighting of firecrackers is the highlight of Diwali.
Brighter the sparkles, louder the noise the greater the thrill!! In fact to
many of us, these aesthetic forms of light seem so appropriate and most
essential when celebrating the 'Festival of Lights'.
But little do people realize that in our increasingly populated and
polluted cities, the temporary joy of watching the firecrackers is soon
replaced by the intense air pollution caused by these. The toxic substances
used in the firecrackers release toxic gases that are harmful to the health
of all living beings. The high level of noise generated by the crackers
cause immense suffering to birds and animals. Besides, Diwali crackers are
dreaded by the sick and the ailing.
Sadly, few of us realise that the firecrackers used on Diwali are mostly
made by very young children. Since the substances being handled are
extremely toxic many of these child labourers get sick and die in their
early teenage years.
Harmful effects of Chemicals used in crackers
Let's do a little analysis of crackers and list out in actual terms the
harmful effects posed by each of its chemicals.
Noise Pollution caused by Fire Crackers
Irritation of respiratory tract
Anemia and damage to kidney
Affects the nervous system
Its dust and fumes cause metal fume fever
Reacts violently with moisture and can attack the skin.
Leads to vomiting
Could lead to mental impairment
Could lead to coma
Crackers that make a noise of more than 125 decibels at four metres
distance from the point of bursting are banned by the law. Given here are
the hazards posed by excessive noise pollution caused by crackers:
2. Excessive Consumerism
- Hearing loss, high blood pressure, heart attack and sleeping
- Sudden exposure to loud noise could cause temporary deafness or
permanent relative deafness.
An indirect but equally significant impact of Diwali on nature is due to
the increased consumption. Since Diwali is also a celebration of abundance
and wealth - many people believe that it is a good time to buy. Often,
people go out and buy new items even when they don't need them.
Advertisements and hoardings scream out to people offerings sales
extravaganzas, bargains, discounts encouraging us to buy more and more!
How does this increased consumption affect Nature?
A point to realize is that all man made items are made out of materials
that come from Nature. Be it plastic, metal, paper or cloth - all of these
raw materials come directly from nature. Those sources that are non
renewable (cannot be grown back) such as fossil fuels and metal ores get
depleted and will one day run out. Depletion of non renewable natural
resources is one of the most significant impact of consumerism.
For instance, the gold earrings that you will buy on Diwali is coming from
a gold mine that is not only depleting the gold resources of the earth, but
in the process of mining is probably ruining several ecosystems.
A question to ponder at this stage is, where do all the things we throw
away go finally? Solid waste created by human beings which is non
biodegradable (does not easily decompose) has to be filled into holes dug up
in the ground. These 'landfills' as they are called may exist for centuries
without completely getting integrated into the soil. The plastic toys that
you are throwing away today, may exist in a landfill several generations
Five Principles of Nature conservation
To be able to conserve our natural environment it is important to keep in
the following principles -
- Reduce : the amount of things we use
- Reuse : the things we have in different forms
until we have absolutely no use for them
- Recycle : items that are no longer functional.
- Rethink: the choices we make when deciding to
buy something and
- Refuse : things that we do not need at all.
So this Diwali, before you buy something new apply the above five
principles and only then pay at the counter!
3. High Energy Consumption
The festival of lights puts a considerably heavy load on electrical energy
sources that are already overloaded. The use of electric lights to adorn
homes, business establishments, monuments and roads requires a huge amount
of electricity. The older tradition of burning oil lamps is a possible
alternative to electric lights - even though it does use oil, the duration
of the lamps is shorter.
Eco sensitive Initiatives
With the growing recognition of the impacts of Diwali on the environment,
several groups have started to reinterpret the rituals and traditions to
become more sensitive to nature. For instance, the children of NCL school,
Pune celebrate a different Diwali by sharing clothes with the lesser
DiwaliFestival.org expresses its gratitude to Ms
Manisha Gutman, Coordinator, Safe festivals campaign,Kalpavriksh
Environment Action Group - Pune
for contributing this article.