I remember the Diwali last year and the ones before that – each one was beautiful and exactly the same. I spent time with family, shopped and exchanged gifts, ate home cooked food (the good kind 😉 ) and had tons of fun. I knew exactly what to expect each year and was never disappointed. Diwali is a time to celebrate one’s prosperity, a time of new beginnings and yet, I can only wonder – how is it different from every other time when we enjoy the fruits of our labor and spend money on ourselves?
So this year, I did a little research. Spoke to a friend who’s a veritable fountain of knowledge when it comes to DIY, enlisted the help of my good friend Google and scoured the net. Diwali might have begun as a celebration of the moment Rama returned home but somewhere along the way, it’s significance got lost. With crackers and electric lights, we’ve made it a commercial celebration of our riches. So this year, we’re changing that. Lets start small and that’s why we’re here with these 7 simple ideas to celebrate a truly green Diwali.
Draw a Rangoli
Did you know drawing Rangolis is in fact as simple as connecting dots? Because the correct way to make a Rangoli is to first make a matrix of dots with the rice powder and then connect them to create a beautiful, symmetric pattern. Fill it with flower petals, or natural colors or simply leave a white sketch on a dark background and you’ll have a stunning Rangoli on your hands. Don’t believe us? Here’s a video that shows you how to make a simple Rangoli on a 3X3 dot matrix!
Need to add a little festive cheer to your home decor? Well, its simple. Apart from adorning your home with hundreds of earthen lamps, you can also make use of your dupattas to bring a little something extra to your decorations. Transform your bedroom into a royal suite or replace those drab curtains with bright dupattas! Just remember to have a source of lights behind them to bring out their texture and glow.
Expend your creative energies and create your own lamps! Combine some pretty bangles or make use of an embroidered fabric/pouch to create your own decorative tea lights! Here’s a video to inspire you:
We’re just getting started! You can also create happy corners in your home with floating flowers and diyas and paper lanterns. Your home is your oyster – decorate it as you may!
A Touch of Earth
Need we even mention this? Replace electric bulbs and fairy lights with your own earthen lamps. Anything looks good when its graced by the natural beauty of lit diyas. Make them an essential component of your decor plans – whether its your rangoli or the balcony adornments. You can save electricity, helping bring it down from the traditionally raised levels around Diwali.
All Natural DIY Gifts
Nothing conveys your love and regard better than gifting people handmade things. We’d definitely suggest going ahead with luxurious beauty products such as bath bombs, scrubs, creams and lotions. Here’s a sweet chocolate scrub to get you started:
A unique choice would be to gift your friends detox waters and headache remedies demonstrating you foresight and care for them. It could also be just the thing to have with you for the morning after in case you have friends staying over. Here’s a simple, five-minute headache remedy as an example:
Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping
Once you’ve made your gifts, its time to wrap them. We’ve been going green so far and we’ll continue it here as well. There are multiple ways to ensure your wrapping does not harm the environment. You can choose beautiful bolts of fabrics or make use of that beautiful dupatta you don’t use anymore as your wrapping paper.
Alternatively, you can even make use of a recycled paper (and doodle on it to make it uber-cool) or utilize old jars from jams and creams for smaller gifts. Combine contrasting colored cotton strings or make use of jute strings to tie it up! Replace the bow with a flower or a collection of leaves (might as well go all the way, right?)
Plant A Sapling
And make everyone else plant one too! Send a seed or a sapling with every gift so that even if one one person plants it, you’ve still added two plants to the world and made it a green Diwali in the truest sense of the words.
When it comes to crackers, it’s hard to say no. I personally, was never fond of them due to a persistent semi-asthma condition that would dog my footsteps each Diwali. However, it’s also hard to imagine Diwali as it is without their bright colors and cheer. So, while a little expensive, give 3D, electric or green crackers a try. It might not be apparent, but it would make a huge difference to a lot of lives.
This list was what I could compile after a lot of research. If you have something to add on, please do comment and I’ll add it on here (I promise to give due credit 🙂 )
Until then, a very happy Diwali to you!