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A plastic free and green Diwali

Citizen groups across Delhi-NCR are doing their bit to ensure a clean, green festival.

gurgaon Updated: Nov 05, 2018 11:54 IST
Plastic,Green,Diwali
Actor Juhi Chawla urged people through a video message to opt for a plastic-free Diwali.

As the city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continues to deteriorate, owing to pollution, many have taken the stand to go for a green Diwali. Apart from shunning crackers, this new eco-friendly attitude is also manifested through the resolve to not gift plastic products or use plastic for gift packaging.

One of the vocal proponents of the idea to go plastic-free on Diwali has been Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla. Posting a video on Twitter, she said, “I’m opting for eco-friendly packaging this Diwali. I pledge to look out for biodegradable alternatives for plastic materials. I urge you to join me. I’m excited to see your plastic-free packaging ideas. Upload a picture with #MeriPlasticFreeDiwali & I’ll share my favourite ones.”

Delhi-based retired IAS officer Anoop Srivastava,who runs the NGO Campaign against Plastic Pollution (CAPP), lauds the idea. “When people hold festive parties, a lot of plastic is used — cutlery, spoons, and bottles. We’re so used to using disposable plastic stuff, and need to change this habit,” he says. “The magnitude of plastic pollution is tremendous. Tonnes of plastic waste are produced and go into unregulated dumps, landfills. Very little of this plastic waste is recycled. There’s a dire need for increasing plastic recycling. There are plastic waste management rules of the government, which aren’t followed by the concerned agencies. One of our strategies is to create awareness on plastic waste management rules.”

Apart from plastic use, various groups are coming up with initiatives to turn this Diwali greener. Citizens for Clean Air, a citizens’ collective group, has come up with the idea of a Diya Daan ceremony. “Instead of indulging in pollution-causing activities outside individual homes, we plan to organise a Diya Daan ceremony at the community centre. After the traditional puja at home, children and adults of the community can light a diya over there, and bring the community together,” says group member Shona Chatterji.

Bhavisha Buddhadeo, a city resident, has opted for green rangoli. “We’re promoting green rangoli, so that people don’t use chemicals, which eventually land up on roads. Green rangoli colours are hugely in demand.”

Schools in NCR are doing their bit to spread awareness, too. “Please let us breathe,” pleaded students of Shri Ram Global School in Gurugram, as they went door-to-door in various condominiums to spread the message. “We took the kids to residential societies to discourage residents from polluting this Diwali,” says Deepak Singh, from the school.

Thoughtful gifting

Conscious gifting seems to be the popular mantra this year. A Gurugram-based software company carried out 3B Ka funda- Bag, Bottle, Box this Diwali for their employees, by gifting glass containers, jute bags and metal bottles. “We decided to go green as now a day most stuff comes with a lot of plastic packaging. We are trying to reduce our footprint by stopping single-use plastic and cut down on plastic decoration at festivals.It seems improper giving out thousands of gifts wrapped in plastic,” Manas Fuloria, CEO, Nagarro.

“We’ve done away with coffee paper cups. And earlier we used to have plastic bottles for each employee; we have moved to the steel bottles with their names engraved,” shares, Priya Chawla, senior manager, Nasscom.

Kindlewood Communications too gifted saplings to the people for Diwali. “ I gift around 500 saplings every year and not just on Diwali but on birthdays and other events as well. My family members also follow the same practise. This year I got several messages appreciating the gift. I change the variety of plants each time and the carry bags are also hand-made,” says, Sunita Budhiraja, CEO.

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First Published: Nov 05, 2018 11:54 IST