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Guard your garden from firecrackers

Many people believe that the festival of Diwali is incomplete without the traditional display of fireworks. But what they don’t think about is the fact that these crackers end up harming the environment, especially the plants and soil in your garden through dust and pollution.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2011 00:23 IST
Vivek Shukla

Many people believe that the festival of Diwali is incomplete without the traditional display of fireworks. But what they don’t think about is the fact that these crackers end up harming the environment, especially the plants and soil in your garden through dust and pollution.

“After crackers burst in the air, they emit toxic gases in the atmosphere that are extremely damaging to the health of all living beings, including plants,” says Dr. J.P.S. Dabas of Indian Institute of Agricultural Research. “Unless you do not make prior arrangements to protect your garden, the health of the plants take a beating,” he adds.

Experts say that fireworks may also contaminate water supplies. As plants require clean water to blossom, contaminated water plays havoc with their growth.

So, what should people do to protect their gardens during Diwali? Dr. Dabas says that the first measure one ought to take is to avoid celebrating Diwali by bursting crackers and also ask their neighbours to do so.

People should also burst crackers in flower pots rather than on the grass, as the deadly residue damages the grass as well as the soil, according to Sunil Jindal, CEO of SVP group, who follows this method in his society. “We also put a lot of water on the plants in our gardens on the next day of Diwali, in order to remove the dust that settles down on the plants,” he says.

Tips and tricks
* Firstly, avoid playing with firecrackers in a garden or lawn — as the chemicals harm the soil. Instead, look for an open field or a wide expanse of empty road
* Keep a bucket of water handy, and ensure that all used crackers are thrown in the bucket and not left lying to singe the grass
* If possible, make a small patch of cement in the centre of the garden and burn crackers on it. This way, chemicals won’t reach the grass and contaminate it