I stopped bursting crackers when I realised that the few moments of thrill wasn’t worth all that trouble. Personally I don’t like all the noise, odour and heaviness of residual pollutants in the air at the end of the celebrations. So giving up bursting crackers was not all that difficult. The individual impacts of bursting crackers on the environment and other people was highlighted in one of the eco-seminars at the Mysore Zoo, which made all the difference! And an impetus to quit bursting crackers. We celebrate Diwali by first cleaning up the house and then decorating it beautifully. Then we meet friends, catch up with relatives.
Most of my friends also do not burst crackers. Initially the thrill of bursting crackers was there but year after year it started getting monotonous. Despite the availability of eco friendly crackers, it is still better to regulate or avoid its use, altogether. I would also want everybody to dispose the burnt bits of fire crackers and other wastes responsibly and not set the remaining crackers or wastes on fire which causes more pollution.
-Anushka Kale, Std XI, Stanes A.I.HR.Sec. School, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu : A keen environmentalist, Anushka and her friends were part of a campaign to clean Lake Kukkarahalli in Mysore, when she was in Std X.
2. As a child I learnt to do Rangoli with dried rice; However as I grew up to become more conscious about the scarcity of food in our surroundings, I started using herbal colours initially and then moved on to bio-degradable substances. such as dried and powdered leaves, re-usuable glass mirrors, turmeric powder, dry sand and flower petals. While making the Rangoli, I get to spend time with my sister as it gives us time out of our daily schedule to bond with each other. This brings out the true essence of Diwali.
Along with this, I love to decorate our house with diyas and candles made by students of the visually challenged school in Sector 26, Chandigarh. Also, I like to participate with Rotractors in selling of candles made by under-privileged women. At home, we even use hand-made paper instead of plastic sheets, as a means of wrapping gifts which is easily available in the local market stalls.
-Harshita Saxena, Std XI, Vivek High School, Chandigarh: Harshita has participated in many international exchange programmes and a leadership meet in Berkshire. She has also headed a recycling paper programme.
3. An eco-friendly Diwali is celebrated without crackers. Causes of air pollution and noise pollution are crackers. We can light diyas instead of the electric lights. We just do not have to keep the house clean but we should keep our surroundings clean too. To do this we should not throw the cracker packets on the ground and the used crackers but collect it and put it in a bin.
V Aryachet, Std 4, The Shriram Millennium School, Noida. When Aryachet’s mother told him that he could burst crackers on Diwali, he said “no, I will not”. This is why.
4. My family has been celebrating an eco-friendly Diwali since the past five years. Instead of bursting crackers, we light diyas and decorate our house. We also prepare a traditional dish and invite other people to our home and exchange gifts. This is a better way of celebrating Diwali than bursting big bombs which leads to an increase in noise pollution. All of you should also encourage this type of celebration instead of celebrating Diwali by polluting the environment. if you still want to burst crackers then opt for the eco – friendly products which are made from the recycled papers instead of the traditional fire crackers since the noise produced by the eco- friendly crackers are with it certain decibel limits.
-Pratiksha Jena, Std VIII, Bethany High School, Koramangala, Bangalore. Pratiksha, an aspiring author, says there’s more to Diwali than just “bang, bang.”
5.I have been celebrating eco-friendly Diwali ever since I learnt in playschool that it is always good to celebrate in a way that our environment is not harmed. Immediately after Diwali cleaning of our house, we gather all the things we do not require such as clothes and gadgets, some furniture also and we give them to poor people and an orphanage. Several weeks before Diwali, we start making paper lanterns (called kandeel in Mumbai) and hang them on our windows.
For every Diwali, I help my mom decorate my house with flower rangolis. They look natural and we can get very creative with different colors of flowers and leaves. We also float small flowers or rose petals on water bowls and keep them around the house.
We get earthen diyas and terracotta elephants and horses with diyas on their backs. I paint them and then keep them outside our house entrance and we make the floral rangolis around them. When we burn the diyas in the evening, it looks amazing. I do not burst crackers as the smoke will cause air pollution and the noise will cause noise pollution. In fact, I tell all my friends in school and my neighbours not to use crackers.
Finally, we make small potted plants to give to all our guests as return gifts as an eco-friendly gesture. This year, even the pots are made of coir (my mom got them from the Farmer’s Market) so even the pots are eco-friendly.
Shivam Kardile, Grade 2, R. N. Podar School, Santacruz(W), Mumbai. If 7-year-old Shivam can give up bursting crackers, so can we all. “Yay” to Shivam.
6. Our Ozone layer has a big hole. Diwali firecrackers will add to this. I want to celebrate Diwali with nice rangoli, flowers and diyas. This time we have made all Diwali decorations at home with old, used material. All kids say “no” to pollution, love the light and have Diwali fun with lots of gifts.
Gul, Class II, The Shri Ram School, Aravali. This Diwali join Gul’s concern about the Ozone layer. Do not burst crackers.
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