Diwali is the festival of lights. Celebrating Diwali without lights is unthinkable. Furthermore, many people make use of electricity for lightening purposes. However, one must use diyas over electricity. Most noteworthy, the diyas or earthen lamps are bio-degradable in nature. One of the major concerns of a developing nation like us is environmental pollution. On Diwali, pollution just shoots up like a rocket (it goes up by 30%). It is estimated that for every hour of fireworks display, the compound ‘strontium’ increases by 120 times (in small amounts it is harmless but in larger amounts it causes damage to bones and can cause blood clotting disorders) in the air. Not only that, but magnesium also increases by 22 times, barium by 12 times, potassium by 11 times and copper by six times. Firecrackers also contain traces of heavy metals that are toxic to the human body. Additionally, at this time when issues of climate change and global warming are being presented with a sense of urgency, we need to be concerned about the number of greenhouse gases fireworks produce which includes carbon dioxide (Co2) and ozone. It’d take the entire lifetime of 5,000 trees to offset the 60,000 tons of carbon emissions produced in this one day!
Also the noise pollution it creates cannot be overlooked, fireworks can create 140 decibels of noise (noise at 85 decibels or above can damage hearing). Diwali is a nightmare for dogs and other animals who get scared of loud sounds (dogs can hear 4 times more than us, imagine the pain and agony).
We are the educated ‘lot’ of the society and yet we are responsible for encouraging such practices. Buying crackers is an utter waste of money and is harmful for the environment too. Nowadays, Diwali is not a simple festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, rather it has become more of a show of one’s own status. It is not an event of ‘coming together’ of family and friends only, it is also a pompous show.
Let’s celebrate Diwali with love and light keeping a view to environment. A few diyas, and probably a few lights are enough to give a festive feeling without making your house look too loud.