Holi is festival of colours and water. But with time, celebrations have become commercialized which is being hazardous to health and environment. It has become hazardous for health in terms of using chemical colours and environmentally hazardous in terms of cutting trees. In terms of wasting water think about those millions of people who are deprived of this useful resources. We as a responsible citizens and societies, lets celebrate holi saving environment and health.
1) Use of water should be avoided – If still want to use water then one should separately store water. One should stick to limited quantity of water to be used and should not exceed the usage. The wastage of water could be estimated that while playing Holi, a person uses at least two buckets of water. A bucket is of 15 litres, which means that about 30 litres of water is wasted by a person on Holi. If about 100 million persons play with water on Holi, then 1500 million litres of water would be wasted (it’s minimum estimate). After all, Holi is the festival of colour, not festival of water.
2) Use Natural colours – We should use natural colours which can be easily removed with water. Avoid using chemical colours.
Here is a simple and quick way of making some eco-friendly colours for Holi:
- Get green fabulous powder by grinding dried leaves of mint and neem leaves or prepare green colour by putting spinach, mint and neem leaves in hot water.
- How about amla and black grapes. Cut them in pieces and put them in boiling water. You will get a nice black colour in the morning.
- Get yellow colour powder with turmeric and marigold flower. Grind dry petals of marigold flower in a mixer.
- In boiling water put some pieces of beet-root. After keeping it overnight you will notice an amazing coloured water which can be used for Holi in the morning.
3) Avoid using of water balloons and plastic bags – It will be too harsh to restrict children using “pichkaris” but definitely we should discourage them using water balloons and plastic bags. These can be harmful if hit on our eyes and also causing environmental concern as they don’t biodegrade.
4) Apply oil or lotion to the body – Applying oil or lotion will help to remove the stubborn colors from the skin and hair easily. Hence saving water during bathing.
Hazards of Chemical Colours Increase in usage of industrial chemicals in holi colours have added risk to our life. There is a severe health concerns raised during recent years due to use of hazardous colours during Holy festival. Most people are also unaware of the components used to make these colors.
Avoid cutting of trees On an average 80 to 120 kg of wood is required to burn 1 bonfire. Imagine thousands of holi bonfire across country require the amount of wood. So it is recommended to have one symbolic community fire, instead of several bonfires. Use other waste materials along with cow dung (Gobar) can be used.