Deepavali, or Diwali is one of the most important holidays in the Hindu calendar. It’s a joyous occasion where families would spring clean their homes, put on new clothes, offer prayers and decorate their homes with beautifully designed rangoli. Symbolising the victory of light over darkness, it’s vital for Hindus to observe meaningful customs and traditions that have been passed down through generations. However, there are ways to celebrate the occasion without compromising on the environment. Here are a few creative suggestions to go green during Deepavali.
1. Use natural colours for your rangoli
Instead of using artificial colours that can contain toxic chemicals, brighten up your home and create a rangoli with spices, rice flour, cereals and other produce. For dry powders, grind dried petals of hibiscus or rose to get a natural red tone or use turmeric powder to get a deep yellow and orange shade. To make a huge batch, you can add any flour from chickpea flour, wheat flour to rice flour to the grinded flowers or spices. To achieve wet colours, boil turmeric in water and cool to get a yellow concentrate, diluting it to get your desired consistency. You can even grind spinach, mint and coriander and dilute with water to get an emerald green shade.
2. Make your own sweets
Although there is a wide range of commercially produced sweets available for sale, most of them are made with artificial colours and too much sugar. So why not make your own sweets this Deepvali instead? With only natural products such as milk, chickpea flour, semolina, coconut, dry fruits and sugar and nuts, you can make the most delectable sweets such as Barfi, Shahi Tukda and Rava Kheer.
3. Personalise your gifts
Instead of purchasing gifts from stores this year, try making them at home for a personal touch. You can opt for oven-baked goodies such as cookies or cakes, homemade sweets or even paint a picture with colours derived from vegetables and fruits. To top it off, wrap your gifts with any remainder cloth you have at home, or with recycled paper.
4. Avoid using plastic or Styrofoam cutlery
Let’s face it, we consume more disposable cutlery than we would like to admit — especially while hosting family and friends during festive occasions at our homes. However, plastic and Styrofoam products are made with scarce petroleum resources and take almost a century to decompose after we are done using them. That’s an awfully long time. Instead, serve up your food with home utensils. Not only do they look more presentable, they also do the environment a whole lot of good. Simply load up your dishwasher for fuss-free washing after the celebration!