The festival season is on and you might be wondering how to stay true to your eco-friendly self, while also making sure that you don’t cut down on any celebrations. If you are wondering how best to do that, then this article is for you. Read on!
First things first. Be it Diwali or Halloween, bear in mind that you can turn any celebration into a greener one with just a little bit more effort. Sure, it takes some amount of planning and changing your ideas of what ‘celebration’ really means, but it’s totally worth it!
- Gifts: Cultures across the world engage in gift giving during celebrations. And who doesn’t like the joy of opening a gift? One of the best gifting options is gifting experiences – a spa voucher, a dinner voucher, or other similar things. If you do insist on a tangible gift, you may want to ask the person himself/herself about what they would like as a gift. This means you don’t end up spending money on unnecessary things and you also don’t give unnecessary gifts. If you are gifting multiple people, you can look at homemade products that are ethically sourced and packaged in an eco-friendly manner, different reusable products, or alternatively, you can make your own hamper with reusable products. Worst case, if you can’t think of anything, good old cash, or gift cards are less wasteful yet useful options.
Another wasteful aspect about gifts is the colorful packing that we do for gifts. The shiny, glossy golden and silver colored “papers” are not really paper and cannot be recycled. You can use handmade paper, newspapers, or even pretty pieces of cloth to wrap your gifts. Handkerchiefs and scarves are not only useful for gift wrapping but they also become additional gifts!
If none of these strike appealing to you, remember, your love for someone is not defined by the consumerist gifts you give them. You can spend some quality time with them, prepare them a favorite dish, or pamper them with a massage!
- Clothes: The season of festivals also means the pressure to indulge in mindless consumerism. These days, one does not think twice before ordering clothes and accessories on online shopping websites. The discount season makes everyone shop products that they don’t even need. What you can do is ransack your cupboard and find clothes that you have actually saved for special occasions and glam it up! What’s even better is bartering clothes with your friends and family. This way, you will get to wear a variety of clothes without having to spend much on them.
Another great way of reusing clothes is turning ethnic clothes, like your mother’s old sarees or dresses, into items of contemporary clothing. This way, they still retain the old world charm, are zero-waste, while also preserving the sentimental value.
Also, one of the fast-evolving markets is that of renting designer clothes; India is definitely home to a handful of such enterprises. All you need to do is rent the dress of your choice for a nominal amount and return it once you are done wearing it for your special occasion.
- Spending on food during festivals: We all know that boxes of chocolates and sweet treats during the festival season just get recycled from one home to another. Instead of gifting store-bought sweets, a great way to ring in any festival or celebration is to organize a potluck lunch or dinner. This means, everyone typically spends just a bit of their time preparing food at home, while they also get to share homemade treats that everyone else makes. And what more? Everyone gets to spend time together and you can also socialize with your friends and family.
Write to us about how you celebrate festivals in an eco-friendly manner!