The splash of colors, the throw of gulal, kids bustling about the streets covered in reds, greens, yellows, and pinks, family and friends dousing each with bright colored gulal; the singing, the dancing, the laughter, the mischief – you guessed it right, Holi is almost here! Us Indians are well known for our love of colors which is never more evident than during the festival of Holi when most of our country is awash with vibrant hues.
Holi is a time when family, friends, and even strangers get together to play, laugh and celebrate this festival of colors. Homes are filled with merrymakers, and normal life quickly grinds to a halt as the streets turn shades of yellow, pink, purple, and red. Needless to say, it’s a time of fun, fervor, and gusto. Now, how do we ensure that the aftermath of Holi is also just as bright, for us and for our planet?
Did you know that traditionally, Holi colors used to be made from herbs and spring flowers? Interestingly, as they were made from natural sources, the colors also had therapeutic value. However, with the advent of industrialization, these natural sources of colors were slowly replaced by chemicals and industrial dyes. Such dyes are toxic in nature and are known to cause serious damage to the skin and the environment. This year let’s go back to our roots and bring back the beauty of naturality in our Holi celebrations. As the carnival atmosphere spills into your home, here are some planet and people safe ideas to keep the party flowing the green way –
Use Natural Colors Over Chemical-Based Colors
Holi isn’t Holi without colors. The essence of the festival of Holi is colors, which also makes it the primary component of the festival. However, as most of us know, chemical colors manufactured in the market are undeniably toxic for us, and the environment. This year make your own natural colors by simply using turmeric, chandan, and henna or opt for organic colors in the market. Such colors are harmless and can also be easily washed off as opposed to chemical-based colors.
Say No to Water Balloons
While water balloons are considered to play a huge part in Holi celebrations, the joy of throwing those water balloons is nothing in comparison to the risk and consequences they carry. Not only can these balloons lead to serious injuries, but the water wasted because of them and the plastic waste generated through them is too high to be ignored. This year, say no to water balloons and eliminate the risk of harming your loved ones, and the environment. Instead, opt for creative alternatives like crochet water balloons that are not only safer, but also latex-free and reusable!
Celebrate Holi the Dry Way
Using water balloons and pichkaris only creates unnecessary garbage, wastes a lot of water, and pollutes the environment. This year, celebrate a dry Holi – go crazy with organic or homemade gulal and incorporate flower petals into your celebrations. They are a great way to avoid unnecessary pollution while still keeping the festival of colors alive.
Give Yourself and the Planet the After Care it Deserves
Remember, Holi celebrations don’t end at using organic colors and being mindful about water consumption – giving yourself and the planet a thorough clean-up is just as important. When it comes to yourself, make sure to use products that are gentle on your skin like a mild cleanser and skin contact-safe facial wipes to clean off all the color from your skin instead of using harsh cleansers and going too aggressive. As for all the waste, make sure to dispose it off responsibly – opt for biodegradable garbage bags that don’t add to the waste and help you wrap up all your festivities the green way.
While most Indian festivals are full of vibrancy and life, they are also often associated with unmanaged waste. One thing to keep in mind during any festival is that while it’s fun to have a grand celebration, it shouldn’t happen at the cost of the environment or yourselves. Take these events as an opportunity to set your own standards and give your own spin to your celebrations. Add a green touch of green to your festivities to celebrate them guilt-free and to set yourself as an example to inspire others. Remember, the choice is always yours. :)