If you have been trying to make sustainable choices in your everyday life, festival season might make you feel a bit nervous. The rituals, gifts and social gatherings are symbolic of celebrating prosperity. But if we aren’t conscious with how we plan our festive celebrations, it can easily become a source of pollution.
So we came up with a quick guide to festival planning which you can refer to and check if your sustainable diwali plans are on track!
PRE DIWALI DAY PLANS
- FOOD PREP: It’s time to lay out a feast of sweets and prepare all the recipes that are made only at this time of the year. Have you found your nearest bulk store? Challenge yourself to prepare a zero-waste feast made only from products you could find in bulk. If you want to save time and buy sweets, go to a mithai shop with your own box and get the packed zero-waste.
- WARNINGS FOR GIFTS: Send out an early warning to your friends and family that you will not be accepting anything in plastic packaging or even better yet to avoid physical gifts. Gift package free zero-waste items which will help you progress in your efforts to live more sustainably. Suggest your friends to look for minimal gift ideas if they still absolutely want to buy something!
- DIWALI SHOPPING: Festive season means festive sales across the market and its not exactly encouraging you to maintain your sustainable fashion goals. But if you really must give in, look for sustainable shopping ideas on our previous blog post-Sustainable Fashion Tips (https://biomimictheory.com/sustainable-fashion-tips/). Thrifting, custom-made, second hand or upcycling is the way to go.
- DECLUTTERING THE HOUSE: Is it me? Does Diwali cleaning feel increasingly difficult every passing year? That’s probably because we end up accumulating so many physical items over time. Everything that was once bought in an excited mood now lies around catching dust. Many aren’t used well. Instead of simply cleaning these items, how about you try a garage sale (online) and find forums where you can put them up for sale or even conduct a free give away! Decluttering is an important step in downsizing your possessions down to the basic needs. A minimal house is much easier to clean.
- DECORATIONS: Decor for Diwali has always traditionally been torans made from marigold flowers and leaves. But in case you want to try something different, you can invest in a Reusable garland made from upcycled scraps that can be used year after year. Check out these cool torans made by Use ME works
Ditch disposable balloons and plastic decorations that need to trashed after one use. Instead of buying more fairy lights, stick to clay diyas and support the small craftsmen who make them. In terms of decor, going back to our roots and traditions works the best.
ON THE BIG DAY
- GIFT GIVING: Neither the person receiving the gift asks for it nor is the person gifting completely sure they made the right choice. Gift-giving has become a stressful matter of social compliance of traditions and it’s time we change it. Use the opportunity of gift-giving to promote your ideas to encourage a sustainable lifestyle! Many biomimic theory customers actually order our Cutlery kits and Wet bags in multiple quantities because they make the perfect gift ideas and nudge their friends in a green direction.
- NATURAL RANGOLI: Rangoli powder coloring is made from toxic chemicals that can easily be avoided with simple home ingredients. Draw your own eco-friendly rangoli with items you naturally find in nature like Turmeric yellow, Salt white, flower petal, colored stones and even clay mud!
- CRACKER FREE DIWALI: Need we say more? Quitting polluting crackers has been the number one tip for a green Diwali for years now. Yet the loud cracker lovers are everywhere and so is toxic air pollution. Replace cracker with outdoor games and fun activities that can channel this playful energy for your family on Diwali.
- HOSTING GUESTS: Hosting Diwali parties means an opportunity for you to avoid major amounts of disposable trash and stick to reusable cutlery at home. For snacks and refreshments, you can lookout for a bakery and find plenty of package free cookies and baked items that you can serve your guests with. Look for quick homemade snack recipes and avoid any convenience plastic junk you may end up bringing home!
POST-DIWALI CLEAN UP
- COMPOSTING ORGANIC WASTE: Left-over waste from rituals, organic food waste and dried flowers that were hung for decor don’t need to end up in landfills. They can be easily composted in a home compost pot, or you can even toss them in a garden pit for them to get composted outdoors.
- STORE REUSABLES FOR NEXT YEAR: All your reusable decorative items, fancy crockery you serve your guests with can now be stashed away to be used for another special occasion! The best part about reusables is that it is ZERO WASTE and even better than using biodegradable disposables.
- PLASTIC WASTE MANAGEMENT: If you did happen to end up with plastic waste, you can still find organizations that can manage them properly. Check out @aarohanaecosocial who upcycle MLP packet waste, if you clean and neatly crop them. Check with your nearest kabadiwala on what items are accepted for recycling, ex aluminum foil waste is often collected is cleaned. You can also make an Ecobrick for all the tiny titbits of plastic waste that can never be managed. Poly fuel companies also accept certain non-recyclable waste to generate fuel. There is always a solution that doesn’t require plastic to end up in landfills!