Sustainable Celebrations – How festivals can be empowering?
India celebrates two main festivals of Holi & Diwali. Holi is a festival of colours. We love to play Holi by applying colours or “gulaal” to each other. On the other hand, Diwali is a festival of lights. We celebrate Diwali with diyas, torans, sweets and other decorations. We use grand decorations and lightings to make our homes more welcoming to our Gods and Goddesses. On Diwali, we all pray for the peace and prosperity of the world. Therefore, we must take care of the health of our planet, our community and our own by celebrating responsibly.
Why do we need a plastic-free festival?
Over the years, doctors gave poignant warnings about the chemicals used in plastic. Today, we know that products made of plastic have a high probability of causing cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, infertility, and many other diseases. Still, we continue to serve food in plastic utensils to avoid the extra work of washing the dishes. Sadly, we keep choosing the plastic cups, plates, spoons, and bowls over the traditional kitchenware. In India, we treat our guests with great honour and reverence. We believe in “Atithi Devo Bhava” (A guest is God-sent). But, we are slow-poisoning our guests by serving them food in plastic. Therefore, let us take a pledge to go Green and Go Plastic-free in the upcoming festivals.
What Are The Alternatives?
Natural materials like leaves, flowers, lanterns and even bamboo can easily substitute plastic made decorations. At Bhavyata Foundation, we offer lamps and torans made with bamboo. They are very eco friendly and add beauty to your home. Apart from that, you contribute to the livelihoods of vulnerable communities that preserve India’s traditional craft by buying these products.
Are Natural Colours A Good Alternative To Synthetic Colours during Holi?
Synthetic colours contain harmful chemicals like lead oxide, copper sulphate, aluminium bromide and mercury sulphite etc. A recent study by Industrial Toxicology Research Centre in Lucknow gave a shocking revelation. The popular scarlet colour used during Holi contains a dye called Rhodamine B. However, this chemical is banned in many countries for use in cosmetics and food colouring as it possesses carcinogenic properties. In addition, ingredients used for making natural colours are turmeric (yellow), plant leaves (green), annatto (orange) and black carrots (pink).
Save Your Family from Harmful Chemicals this Holi
Synthetic colours that we use in Holi cause skin disorders like acute nail fold inflammation, aggravation of pre-existing dermatoses, abrasion, discolouration, and contact dermatitis, among others. Using those colours can also lead to extreme hair loss and dryness. The harsh synthetic colours are difficult to wash off of clothes. Understanding this problem, Bhavyata Foundation created natural dyes that are as easy on clothes as they are on the skin. In addition, these natural colours disappear after a simple wash and you can reuse the clothes you play Holi in.
Synthetic colours have a terrible impact on air, water, soil, biodiversity and our ecosystem as a whole. Above all, natural colours are eco-friendly, which means that you can play with as much as you want without suffering any “green guilt.”
Become A Light of Hope for Someone This Diwali
We partner with communities that are below the poverty line. These opportunities help them earn a dignified living. Our mission is to promote a sustainable lifestyle through conscious consumerism while providing steady income to the deserving communities. Let us lend a helping hand to these communities and our planet. In addition, do opt for natural gulaal this Holi.
Our festivals must be a time to reflect on how our celebration can be more compassionate, economical and environmentally friendly. A responsible celebration is a sustainable one. It starts and ends with us being a bit more conscious while shopping, becoming a conscious consumer. A profound Native American proverb says, “we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”.