Diwali; the best time of the year. What’s not to love? It’s a mix of celebrations, family, gifts, wealth, great food and explosions of color and light. It’s almost impossible to avoid joining in on the cleaning regime or shopping trips.
Over the last few years however, ecological campaigners and politicians have stepped in to take steps towards cutting down the unnecessary waste created due to the festival. Although we know endless food and streams of firecrackers isn’t always environmentally practical, somehow ‘’The Ethical Diwali’’ doesn’t really have a ring to it. Despite this, a fun Diwali doesn’t have to mean hedonistic chaos, leaving you broke, unhealthy and with a tonne of ecological guilt as the cities and beaches are cleared of waste, pollution and rubbish.
So here’s just seven simple things you should be thinking about to contribute towards ‘The Ethical Diwali’ – without sacrificing the enjoyment of these joyous festivities. Trust us; do just a couple and your whole Diwali will be better and brighter than ever.
1. Save water
We scrub the house from head to toe, we take long baths and we use a lot of water. Remember that only about a third of rural households in India have access to piped water supplies so try and use it sparingly.
2. Eat healthier
You’ve heard it all before and we won’t lecture you on it. We’re not advising you to avoid the sweets and treats altogether, but you know your own limits to keep your waistline happy and your arteries healthy.
3. Waste less food
We love to feast. There’s always plenty of leftovers, but so much of that goes in the bin. Over 40% of agricultural produce alone is wasted in India every year, totalling over Rs 58,000 crore worth of food. Only buy and prepare what you need, you’ll save money too.
4. Donate to someone less fortunate than yourself
Not only will cutting down purchasing excess food help with your own health and the environment, it also means you can contribute those funds towards someone less fortunate who wouldn’t have been able to eat otherwise. According to World Bank data, India has one of the world’s highest demographics of children suffering from malnutrition globally. Donate to a cause combating malnutrition and don’t let that food go to waste.
5. Invest in something worthwhile
We all spend so much money during Diwali season. Instead of splurging out entirely on yourself and your family, save a small amount to donate to a worthwhile cause. Innovations in technology such as crowdfunding platforms mean that donating has never been quicker and easier. It only takes two minutes to spare a thought for someone else, and then you can sit back and enjoy your own over-indulgence in the knowledge you’ve made someone else’s’ Diwali a little brighter.
6. Save electricity
Only nine states of 28 have been officially declared totally electrified across India. The majority of this comes from coal, a quickly depleting resource that contributes towards contaminating the air and environment in a country that’s already home to two of the most polluted cities in the world. Switch off the lights when you’re not at home and enjoy your neighbors sparkling LEDs.
7. Reject materialism; find happiness in social good
So much emphasis is placed on the material happiness of the gifts we exchange during the festival. However, multiple studies have confirmed that material things will not bring you a great deal of happiness. Instead, either investing in experiences or contributing towards someone else’s’ happiness and well being is far more effective in filling the void that consumerism creates.
Try contributing to a cause such as social impact. There are many causes in need across India. Click here to see some of the ones you can support this Diwali.
No matter in what area you chose to invest your time, energy and emotion, we wish you all a bright and truly happy Diwali this year.