How to Celebrate Holi in an Eco-Friendly Way?

Celebrate Holi in an Eco-Friendly Way?

At the time when the world is seeing a continuous deterioration of the quality of the environment, we are still not aware of the small habits that are responsible for this deterioration. Our daily life is full of such small habits that seem to be of no importance but are really big when considered for a long time or combined as a whole.

Festivals are no doubt one of the sources of happiness for a community that follows. Festivals try to unite the members of the community. These create a feeling of closeness in society. Every other person who has gone to work generally comes home on the eve of festivals.

While festivals are a good source of enjoyment and should be celebrated with full involvement, there are also environmental concerns that should not be left out of planning. I talked about celebrating festivals in an eco-friendly way here.

Here, I am going to specially discuss the way to celebrate Holi in an eco-friendly way.

Why Do You Want to Make the Holi Eco-Friendly?

When we ask this question ourselves and answer without thinking over the root of the question, we may say, "Why the hell should I waste my time thinking about how to make this Holi eco-friendly. What shall we get if we try to make this Holi eco-friendly?"

This is not the right answer to this question. First of all sit restfully on your chair, sofa, or whatever you have. Take a deep breath and then start thinking about the long-term consequences of not following eco-friendly habits during Holi.

Let me give you an example here,

According to Indian government data, the annual per capita availability of water in 2001 was 1820 cubic meters which was reduced to 1545 cubic meters in 2011 and may further reduce if not taken seriously.

This is an example of a long-term consequence. You can easily conclude here that if you do not endorse environment-friendly habits then how painful this may prove to your descendants. There are various other things that you can think over.

Such thinking will definitely lead you to the right answer that is asked earlier in this section.

Can You Make This Holi Eco-Friendly?

Generally, I do not play Holi with eco-friendly habits. There are very few memories in my mind when I used dry colors for the Holi celebration. I always used hard colors that are dipped in water to bring effect. Me and my friends also played by forcefully dipping one another into the water and throwing water and mud on one another. This is something that I never missed before 2018.

In 2018, I was in 10th standard and was preparing for the board exams. Our teachers arranged a hostel facility in the school for us so that we could prepare well under their monitoring. Obviously, we were also in our school at the time of playing with colors. So, I could not play Holi this time.

This was a time when I completely abstained Holi celebration. This was eco-friendly but not an eco-friendly celebration.

The only time that I remember celebrating eco-friendly Holi is 2020.

In 2020, I was in 12th standard and was at my home during the time when everyone play's with colors. At this particular time, we had a leave of 9 days for the preparation of the last exam, i.e., Maths. This time, I was not much serious about the exam. So, I went with my friends and some family members to play cricket. I didn't play with colors, water, or mud. The only method of celebration that I used was food-serving. 

This time I celebrated Holi in an eco-friendly way and now again thinking to do the same after skipping one year.

Now think, If I can do this without much difficulty, then why you can't? I am just an ordinary guy who involved himself in other activities instead of playing with harmful colors. While you should not completely avoid playing with colors. In the upcoming section, I will discuss the alternatives to such harmful and water-consuming colors for the celebration.

Play a little with these colors and then get involved in other occasional activities that will make you not feel like you are doing nothing on this Holi.

How to Actually Make This Holi Eco-Friendly?

You do not need to expend a lot to celebrate Holi while keeping in mind the concern of the environment. It's not very hard like losing 15 kg in three months. You just need to bring some small changes in the way of celebration. So, let's discuss what we can do this Holi to save the environment.

Avoid Polluting Colors:

Most of us play Holi with artificial colors which require water for making the colors to show their effect. You require water not only to apply the colors but also to remove them from the skin and clothes. It is the worst part of playing Holi. We require more water to remove the colors than to apply them.

I remember that after every Holi celebration, besides wasting a lot of time and water removing the colors from the skin, the marks of colors last up to some days. We cannot fully remove the colors in just one time.

The water used for washing our clothes and taking bath gets full of artificial chemicals which are then drained into sources of water like rivers, ponds, etc. This way, the natural sources of water get polluted which is harmful both for us and biodiversity in the water source.

So, instead of using artificial colors which require a lot of water, use dry colors that do not consume water. These are simple to apply on skin and when applied can be removed easily. Moreover, these are not harmful to our skin.

One more option to go through is using natural colors instead of artificial colors. The category of natural colors includes colors like turmeric, henna, chandan, etc. You can make different combinations of these to get different colors. As you can see, you won't waste liters of water to apply them or remove them. Interestingly, these are not harmful to the skin. Instead, they give required nutrients to our skin and therefore are good for keeping our skin healthy.

Instead of such benefits of natural colors, why do we use artificial colors? I think there are two possible reasons for this.

First, we do not get enough pleasure playing with natural colors. The occasion comes once in a year and there will be no sense in caring about the environment and not living one day to the fullest in a year!

Well, this thought often comes to our mind but just think over, are we not enjoying Holi with natural colors? One of the reasons why we think so is, we got addicted to playing this way. In just two to three years of celebration in an eco-friendly way, we will again get addicted to it.

Second, natural colors are costly as compared to artificial colors. Yes, it is definitely a reason that should be taken into concern. But wait, we need not buy a lot of colors to play Holi. We buy a large amount of artificial colors just because they are cheap. In reality, we do not need that much amount of colors that we buy. We waste a lot of these colors because they are cheap.

And natural colors are not as costly as we think. If we apply these in small amounts and do not waste them, then the money spent on these can be equal to that on artificial colors.

You can make natural colors either at home or buy them from the market. Here, I have a collection of natural colors for you to buy, just check them out.

  • Antarkranti handmade organic gulal in Orange, Yellow, Pink, Red, and Green(100gm each): Check it here
  • Tota organic gulal in Green, Pink, Yellow, and Orange(40gm each): Click here
  • Or you can go to this page to view different products.

Avoid Ballons and Pichkaris

It is very amusing to fill liquid color in ballons and use pichkaris to splash color on your friends. With both of these techniques, we avoid the necessity of going close to and holding in hands our companion. This way, we also reduce the risk of ourselves getting wet with colors.

But now, let's take a resolution to avoid playing with balloons and pichkaris as these are more like risks than pleasure. Pleasure won't go beyond one day but the risks will follow after. As both balloons and pichkaris are made of plastic, they are obviously harmful to the environment. When such plastic waste is generated in large quantity in such a small time period, it gets very difficult to manage this waste.

Many of us may claim that we do not waste these toys. Instead, we keep them to use for the next year's celebration. But wait, what I observed is that majority of us do not use these pichkaris for another year and it is a very small portion of people who make these live till the next year.

One more problem with these, even if our pichkaris survive till the next year and then for another one year, still these are harmful to the environment. Can we play colors with pichkaris without using water? No. The water waste risk is as important as the risk of plastic waste generated from the pichkaris.

Play Holi with Flowers

I personally, never tried this method of playing Holi. I just read on the internet that Lord Krishna used to play Holi with flower petals and we should also do this. He used this method of celebration because it is neither dangerous for the skin nor to the environment.

Just think how beautiful will it be to celebrate such a festival with colorful natural gifts. No, plastic or water waste, no pollution generated, and no skin risks. This traditional method not only makes us free from risks but also teaches us to respect our cultural heritage. It is something that makes us feel like we are living in the era of Lord Krishna.

Anyway, do not put these flowers in the dustbin after use. These are used for making various skincare and other products. So, collect and give them to someone who is involved in such work.

You can easily buy fresh flowers from your nearby market.

Let's Wrap-Up

The ways, discussed above are not very difficult to go through. We just need a little awareness about our environment and health. Just thinking about our health may make us go through these eco-friendly methods.

Besides this, trying these methods may make us feel very proud of ourselves that we are doing it for our future generations.

Now, let me know in the comment section, what do you think of using these methods of Holi celebration? Have you ever tried one of these methods? Are you going to make this Holi an eco-friendly one? Feel free to express your opinions.

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