About Me

Someone who fell in love with the natural world early on and has been smitten ever since. A blade of grass, a mighty mountain, a tiny raindrop, a roaring waterfall, all fill me with awe and wonder. Nature feels home, filled with warmth and love. It pains my heart to see this home being ravaged. This blog is an effort to find tweaks in modern living to preserve the sanctity of this home. I sincerely hope that you join me in this green karmic journey.

Friday, 1 September 2017

A Little Less

Flooding in Mumbai. Smog in Delhi. Frothing lakes in Bengaluru. And festive season on our hands.
How do we celebrate?

Celebrations generally mean more of everything. Food, clothes, gifts, decorations, parties, visits. More consumption and consequently, more waste. Wasted food, disposed packaging, and decorations, smoke due to crackers, unwanted gifts, increased travel.

How do we make it less painful for the planet and in turn, us? There is a universal law that whatever goes around, comes around. So if the planet suffers, we are bound to suffer along - caste, creed, gender, economic status notwithstanding.

When flooding, smog, and frothing happen, we curse authorities. But when we are asked to cut down on our conveniences, we argue, complain and make excuses.

It's time to rethink ways in which we celebrate festivals. By taking cues from our childhood or maybe our parents' childhood, when life was simpler and unpretentious. When there weren't many choices, means were limited and simple pleasures were derived out of games, conversations, music, dance, and arts.

Decoratives did not mean buying plastic garlands and lanterns. Bandanwaars made of flowers and leaves, decorated doors and altars. Houses were decorated with rangolis and mandanas, which in turn were painted with red-colored mud and white-colored lime, all-natural stuff.

Sweets meant mostly homemade laddoos and burfis. Packaged sweets were hardly exchanged. Instead, we went to each other's houses to meet, greet and eat.

New clothes were eagerly awaited as they were bought occasionally.

My Mom recounts parties that she attended in her childhood. Food used to be a simple fare of poori, one or two curries, raita, one sweet, one savory and a drink. It was served in leaf plates and bowls. As for water or drinks, steel glasses were carried from home by each family. The origins of bring your own. Siblings used to fight over turns to carry glasses till the venue!

Let's make a few simple efforts this festive season.

Social get-togethers in apartment communities, homes, temples? Do not use disposables. Borrow or rent dishes and cutlery. Guests can be requested to come with their own plates, cutlery, and bottles. Too radical? Speak to people. Talk it out. Tell them why it should be done. Send them videos about pollution in oceans and overflowing landfills. Ask them to be a part of the solution. Every big change starts with a little step. People are mostly ready to do their bit. If you can't borrow or rent, consider buying extra dishes which you can use for your parties and then lend to others. 

Vow not to waste food. Buy what you can use and eat whatever you take in our plate. 

Decorate with biodegradable or reusable paper stuff. Club resources with neighbors to make a big rangoli. It fosters community spirit.

Gift with discretion. Does the other person really need or value your gift? If gift you must, choose an eco-friendly and bio-degradable option. Avoid packing the gift. Use a paper bag with a gift tag.

Get together with neighbors to burst crackers. Watch them when they burst theirs and invite them to watch when you burst yours. Limit them in any case.

Traveling? Consider using public transport to reach the railway station or airport.

Little measures when undertaken by all, would create a mighty difference. 

Happy festivities, everyone!

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