It is that time of the year again! Yes, the festival of lights is back! Hindus all over the globe are cleaning their homes, lighting diyas all around the house, distributing sweets, buying new clothes and having the time of their lives. This festival marks mainly the return of King Rama of Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. It is said that when their King returned home, the citizens of Ayodhya lit up their homes with lamps to mark his return. Ever since, Diwali has been celebrated. Other important aspects of Diwali include, Lakshmi Puja, Naraka Chaturdhashi, Dhan Teras, etc. (no I am not explaining all that. There is something called wikipedia meant for that 😉 ) The most important part of this festival though, is undoubtedly the lighting of lamps. So if you could just stop and think for a minute, do lighting of lamps also involve lighting firecrackers? Of course, they are an immense source of light; but they are a bigger source of noise and air pollution than of light. We have our simple, innocent and harmless diyas to provide light. And we cannot forget the electric lights that we can put up to provide extra lighting in place of fire crackers.
Diwali might be one of the most auspicious festivals for us, but I think being a bit environmental friendly is more auspicious than getting carried away by the festivities. During Diwali the level of sulphur dioxide in air rises by 200 per cent. In addition to this, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and other elements like chromium, cadmium and mercury are released during the bursting of fire crackers. The crackers contain harmful chemicals such as lead, magnesium, zinc and copper all of which release toxic fumes when burnt and cause pollution. This is one of the major causes for ozone depletion as well. Do we really want to live in an environment where we are inhaling so many toxic fumes? Celebrations are necessary, but in light of the current environmental wreckage we need to tone down the celebrations a little. Lets try and celebrate diwali in a more eco friendly way from now on. For me, this is the 8th year without crackers. Instead, I light diyas around my house, put a rangoli, distribute sweets, and spend my entire cracker allowance on shopping! 😉 For those of you who have already stopped using crackers, lets try and spread the message; and for those of you who haven’t, how about you start trying now?
This is what I did in my house, post links of your diwali pictures in the comments below and I’ll upload them here.
This is what Bharath Rao sent me 🙂