7 Signs a Zerowaste Holi Revolution Is Coming
Holi has been celebrated in India since time immemorial. But how can you make it a grand, yet a zero-waste affair? Read on to know more.
The festival has its roots in celebrating the victory of good over evil, as mentioned in the Puranas, where the evil Holika was burnt in the sacred fire, and her evil brother Hiranyakashyap was killed by the Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu.
The festival is also celebrated as the ushering of the colourful spring, the harbinger of new life, and the end of the dry winter; also, it is celebrated as the new season of crops starts.
It is celebrated pan-India as well as the greater Indian diaspora, and is called by different names in different regions.
No matter which part of India you belong from, one thing is common – you will see people celebrating the festival of colours as symbolic of love, forgiveness, re-establishment of friendships and relationships, in the truest sense of fraternity and love. We smear one another with colours, play with coloured water, sing and dance together, visit our friends and relatives, distribute sweets and have a happy time filled with fun and frolic.
But what if all of it ends up in a sad ending, where Mother Earth is left crying at the corner? This is basically what happens at the end of the festival, if not celebrated responsibly. Find out how you would harm the nature if not conscious enough, and how you can contribute to making the festival of colours a happier one for nature.
The chemical-laden colours that are widely bought from the market today, owing to their cheaper price and deeper pigmentation, lead to horrible consequences both for us as well as the nature. It can lead to skin rashes and inflammation, and in the long run, might aid in developing chronic and sometimes, deadly skin infections. Not only that, owing to the presence of toxic and heavy metals, these colours are retained in the environment, leached into the groundwater, and reach our drinking water, as well as the rivers and high seas, which would be then taken up by the fishes and reach our bodies by means of food, and cause heavy metal toxicity and metal poisoning.
These can also reach our nose in powder form and cause irritation and breathing difficulties, and may sometimes cause blindness if they reach the eyes. They cause similar deleterious effects on animals as well, and accumulation of these in the soil might reduce soil productivity in the long run.
What is important is, therefore, for us to think if the festival of colours and joy deserves to have such negative effects on ourselves and the nature around us.
So, how do we move towards safer, environment-friendly, zero-waste Holi celebrations? There are many ways – just some little changes here and there, and you are ready to embark on the path of a beautiful Holi celebration which you had always wanted – with no negative effects on the environment around us, rather, one in which we give back to the nature.
Use organic, natural colours
There are many organic, vegan zero-waste stores available today, who sell these 100% organic colours made naturally. You can buy them at goingzero.in, India’s first 100% vegan zero-waste store, which is selling pure organic vegan gulaal, prepared by people with special abilities, by upcycling temple flowers!
If you do not want to buy colours from outside, you can as well prepare them at home, and that is an even more fun-filled affair. You can call over friends and relatives to your place and prepare the colours together.
Red from dried palash and hibiscus flowers, yellow from turmeric or radhachura or yellow marigold flowers, purple and violet from beetroot, orange from saffron or krishnachura or orange marigold flowers, green from henna, blue from mixing yellow and greens… nature provides us with every colour of our choice. Drying these flowers and crushing them would give you coloured gulaal, and boiling them would give you coloured water.
If you fall short of gulaal of any colour, you can organically adulterate it with some flour. If the colour-making process is too tedious for you, why worry? Just play Holi with flower-petals!!
After the celebrations are over, make sure that the leftovers and flower-petals and other coloured powder that remain strewn around, are sweeped and collected into a pit and put into composting. This way, we not only discard then ethically, but also give back to nature.
Use less water
Water scarcity is a burning issue in today’s date, and more so in a highly overpopulated country like India. This Holi, make it a point to use less water, or if possible, celebrate a dry game of colours. Trust us, you won’t regret it once you know you have done it for the greater good of the planet. 😊
Discard rubber balloons and plastic colour-guns
When you are taking that extra step to celebrate a healthy, happy Holi, why ruin it with plastic and rubber? We know you have been a conscious resident of this planet, the reason why you have come to read this blog in the first place! 😊 It’s time we discard those dangerous future dump-fillers and move towards a better, cleaner festival of colours! if you want to use colour-guns, go for steel or aluminium-made reusable ones.
- Cook at home, prepare sweets and savoury snacks. Enjoy them yourself and distribute them around as well!
- Do not paint animals with any kind of chemical colours. even if you are using only pure organic gulaal, the maximum you can do is put a small tika on their foreheads. Because we never know when the powder might reach their eyes and induce irritation. Why irritate them on a festival which celebrates joy and revival of lost relationships?
- Last but not the least, do make it a point to spend the festival with your near and dear ones and family. They are the greatest treasures you have!! And what better occasion than Holi, the festival of love and friendship, to do this?
These are just some of our recommendations to play a safer, zero-waste, cleaner Holi. Do not forget to drop in more ideas here, which you have thought of and executed and made a positive contribution towards the planet!
Until then, have a happy and safe Holi!!!