It’s that time of year again! The Diwali festival is once more upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about how we’re all going to celebrate with our family and friends. A bagful of store-bought sweets and snacks? Fireworks so loud they could be heard in Sri Lanka?
This is how many families choose to celebrate each year, but, in doing so, they could not only be putting themselves and their loved ones in danger, but they could also be undoing all of the hard work many Indians have done to try and protect and preserve the country. An eco-friendly Diwali can be easy and fun to celebrate, and, most importantly, it’s not harmful to the environment.
Here are some tips for having an eco-friendly Diwali festival.
Create Your Own Diyas for the Diwali Festival
Electric diyas have become all the rage for the Diwali festival. Lighting them is as easy as plugging them into a socket, and they can be stored for use year after year. Unfortunately, as they use electricity, they will add to your household electricity bill! Diwali is all about celebrating and having a good time, but there’s nothing even remotely fun about plugging in some store-bought lights. What is fun, however, is creating your own diyas at home.
There are two ways you can create your own diyas at home, and whichever method you choose, you can be sure your kids will love it!
First, you could make your own diyas from scratch by using clay. Mould it into the traditional diya shape, and let it dry. Your little ones can decorate the outside if they want, and then you can then add a small candle. The only thing simpler would be to buy some traditional diya, and use homemade paints to decorate them however you like. You can make paint by mixing together sugar, water, cornstarch, and food colourings, and your kids will love decorating their own personal diya.
Don’t worry about them getting messy – homemade paint washes out easily in the machine with Surf excel! Also, always remember to be careful whenever using candles or open flames around children.
Make Sweets & Diwali Gifts at Home
Providing sweets and snacks for your Diwali celebration is common practice, but sometimes the store-bought varieties come in packaging that can’t be recycled, adding to the ever-increasing mounds of landfill across the country. Instead, why don’t you give each of your kids an apron and get them busy in the kitchen, helping you to make your own sweets and snacks?
A very easy, and very delicious, recipe you can make with your kids is for coconut burfi. All you need is to mix equal amounts of coconut and sugar in a pan until melted together, then throw in some toasted nuts and allow to chill in a tray. Slice into bite-sized squares and you’ve got plenty of traditional Diwali sweets to hand round to your guests – a lovely homemade Diwali gift!
You can also make your own Diwali greeting cards with special Diwali messages and quotes. Check out our article for tips and inspiration for cards you can make with your kids at home.
Keep the Noise Down this Diwali Festival
Firecrackers and fireworks can be seen and heard all over the country during Diwali, but here are some surprising facts about these celebrations that you may not know:
- Did you know that, according to a recent study, one in 100,000 will be seriously injured by firecrackers during Diwali, with patients as young as 5 years old being reported? * Did you know that noise levels increase by 1.3 times during Diwali, according to research done in Delhi? Not only does this contribute to noise pollution, but it can also frighten animals and household pets.
- Did you know that firecrackers on Diwali create air pollution, according to a study by researchers in Hyderabad?
While fireworks and firecrackers are fun to use and wonderful to look at, the effects they have both on the environment and on people – especially children – make them just not worth it. Instead, think about using hand-held sparklers that are much safer than fireworks, or using smokeless firecrackers that are now available from many stores.
Are you thinking of changing your usual Diwali plans to include some eco-friendly aspects?
Do you already celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly way each year? Share your tips and tricks below so other families can celebrate in style while still considering the environment.