Holi is a festival that promotes camaraderie and spreads joy through the play of colours. It also celebrates the victory of good over evil and the divine love of Radha and Krishna. However, this otherwise happy occasion can become the cause of discomfort for others, including people, animals and may harm the environment. Conducting an eco-friendly Holi is a must and we share five tips to achieve that.
Use Natural colours, not chemical ones: The store-bought Gulal or Abeer/abir is usually made using chemicals and heavy metals which can cause allergies, asthma, temporary blindness, kidney failure, liver issues, and nervous problems and may affect cognitive abilities in children and cause cancer. Turmeric, gram flour, sandalwood, pomegranate and beetroot extracts and Henna are safer options.
Avoid water usage and wastage: Colours mixed in water cause allergies, stain the roads and buildings, and cause environmental pollution. Also, conservation of water is essential as several states in the country are suffering from depleted groundwater levels due to the rising human population. It is best not to waste this valuable resource and celebrate with dry colours instead.
Don’t use or litter plastic: Holi colours come in cheap plastic pouches that are usually discarded on the streets. Plastic bags can cause blockage in drainages. They accumulate in rivers and oceans and kill marine life. Street animals die from consuming plastics while looking for food. Water balloons should be avoided for these same reasons.
Eco-friendly bonfires: Cutting trees for Holi bonfires is harmful to the environment as trees give us oxygen, remove carbon dioxide and absorb harmful pollutants in the air. It is best to use natural fuel like dried dung cakes and coconut husks.
Don’t put colours on animals: Street dogs and cows are often splashed with colours that cause skin allergies, loss of hair and eyesight damage. The animals consume poisonous colours when they lick them, which can cause death. Lung infections can occur from the colour powders. Street dogs usually become disoriented when colours are thrown at them and may get hit by vehicles.