In our effort to make the most of our festivals, we often forget that a lot of the glitz and celebration does a lot of damage to the precious ecosystem of our city’s environment
Pune has been no exception and faces serious threats of poor air quality, noise pollution and power shortages.
The Supreme Court, civic society and city activists have been crying hoarse to spread awareness for a greener and eco-friendly Diwali.
Pune365 spoke to a cross section of informed and committed citizens who have initiated measures to help contribute to a safer environment without compromising on the true spirit of the season.
Rohan Singh, a 34 –year-old businessman decided against contributing to the increasing levels of noise pollution in the city and reliving the essence of the ‘Festival of lights’ instead…
“I have always believed that festivals are for merriment and not for the harassment of people in society and hence, want to inculcate the same values in my kids.
Although all crackers are injurious to the environment, we have decided to stick to the basic light emitting crackers rather than the high-decibel ones. Since my kids are small, a few ‘Chakri’s,(spinning wheel) ‘Fujhadis’ (flower pots) and the likes are more than enough to excite them.
We are also planning to celebrate it with the under-privileged kids in the city and share our joy,” Rohan smiles.
“This year, I decided on some innovative gifting ideas that also promote environment protection,” shares Sheena Jakhanwal.
“I got hold of these plantable cards, stationery, envelopes and other items that can be planted in a pot once they are used. I used the papers for writing personalised greetings to my acquaintances who can later plant the paper and water it as usual to help it grow into a sapling.
The initiative by this Indian company is very creative, unique and sustainable for the environment.
They also have plantable seed bombs that are a good replacement of explosive bombs and sweet bombs, both of which are extremely harmful for us,” Sheena adds.
A major portion of the traditional mud ‘Diyas’ and lamps are today replaced by plastic and aluminium coated tea lights.
To help curb the production of these pollution causing plastic, aluminium and other metals, Disha Joshi, a creative head at a marketing company decided to go the green way and opt for the handmade mud diyas.
“I think the entire essence of celebrating the festival starts from the preparations and making wise decisions. For me, Diwali isn’t complete without the diyas.
In fact, I never buy the fancy plastic or any other material diyas or LED lights, cutting down on power consumption. This way at least I do not contribute to the non-biodegradable waste generated on the streets.
Moreover, it gives business to many workers who make them with so much effort. I also gather some kids in the society and teach them how to make their eco-friendly décor, diya painting etc. that also gives a personal touch to the festivities and let them know about the harmful effects of other alternatives.”
Animals in the city are often seen to bear the brunt of anti-social elements in the city that harass them for their entertainment.
To save them, this city based animal lover decided to welcome streets dogs, cats and other animals that are under the threat of being harmed during Diwali.
“I do not have a huge house or open space but with the help of some city activists, we decided to help the animals stranded at the corners of the streets due to the high intensity explosives and fire crackers that are harmful for their health.
I decided to do this around Koregaon park and nearby areas where the threat of these untoward incidents are higher,” adds Aarzo.
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