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October 31, 2010 / pkdhodapkar

Celebrating festivals in a ‘green’ manner

Its festival time, and there are a large number of activists who advocate celebrations in an environmentally friendly manner. However, one of my earliest lessons in green celebrations was learnt way back in the mid seventies, a time when global warming or GHG were yet to catch up as buzzwords. During the Dusshera festival, when we were customarily exchanging shami leaves with fellow students and teachers, our biology teacher reprimanded us in a gentle yet firm manner. As per him, we were interfering with the nature. He reminded us that leaves performed the important task of carbon dioxide uptake from the atmosphere for photosynthesis, and warned us against such indiscriminate use of leaves in the name of festivals. He urged us to find alternate ways of celebrating festivals such as planting of trees. 

Today, green activism has caught up and we are aware of the consequences of use of colors in Holi, toxic materials in the making of Ganesh idols, noise and air pollution during the Deepawali, etc. Yet, the first lesson has been the most unforgettable for me. Yet, a lot of work remains to be done to achieve the desired change.

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