Why you shouldn’t use Diwali as an excuse to ruin the planet.
I had a very simple and beautiful Diwali this year. Met some of my favourite aunties and uncles, had an online Diwali party with my friends, made simple rangoli with coloured chalk (instead of coloured rangoli powders which consist of nothing but chemicals now a days), no new clothes — wore the same outfit for the past three festivals and honestly it felt great (isn’t that what makes clothes worth it? Liking them so much you wear them multiple times as opposed to buying something grand only to wear it once or twice?), made vegan gulab jamun (which I kid you not, tasted EXACTLY like normal gulab jamun), didn’t burst any crackers (neither did my family) and instead adorned our house with diyas (simple clay diyas and not coloured, bejewelled, embellished ones — the paint involved may release harmful substances when burnt, defeating the whole purpose of burning diyas!)
Let’s visit that last point once again, aren’t crackers what make Diwali fun? Yes, maybe, but that isn’t even what’s meant to be done on Diwali. As with most of the traditions nowadays, something with a meaning and purpose behind it changed its course, got polluted on the way and completely lost its purpose (and we call ourselves the most intelligent species on this planet, what a pity).
Diyas symbolize Diwali. Crackers simply cause pollution. When the tradition of celebrating Diwali started in our culture, there was no existence of crackers. We lit diyas and celebrated it. Diyas (simple ones with cotton wicks and oil) are smoke-free, and moreover, the oil used in diyas can also have some health benefits (depending on the oil used). And since Diwali comes in the colder months of the year, Diyas provide warmth, and the oil used in Diyas can help kill bacteria and germs, which are common during Diwali season. Whereas after firing crackers, fine dust particles get settled on the surrounding surfaces, which are packed with chemicals like copper, zinc, sodium, lead, magnesium, cadmium and pollutants like oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. The dust and pollutants are harmful to the environment and put your health at risk. Now I’m not saying diyas are 100% eco-friendly. I’m just saying that they are much better in comparison to crackers.
If you still want to blindly go ahead and put yours as well as everybody else’s lives in danger while saying, “but it’s Diwali man”, while ironically considering yourself the most intelligent species on the planet, then go ahead. Education has no meaning then. What’s the point anymore?
Anyways, hey reader! Thank you for making it this far down. I really appreciate it. I am a 20-year-old vegan environmentalist, and I post content on how to live a more eco-friendly and plant-based lifestyle on Instagram. I wanted to expand to this platform, as well as I feel I would be able to put my thoughts into words and truly express myself when it comes to saving the animals and the environment. Do follow me for more such content!