Celebrating our traditions responsibly

Celebrating our traditions responsibly

India possesses a rich cultural heritage owing to the diverse groups of people living in the subcontinent and is famously known as the land of festivals. The festive season commences right after the harvest season and brings all groups of people together to celebrate with joy and fervor. With the festive season around the corner, Suntuity believes this may be the chance to bring a change in how we choose to celebrate.

Ganesh festival is one of the most popular festivals in India celebrated for a period varying from 2 to 10 days. On the first day of the festival (Ganeshotsava) a Lord Ganesh statue is brought home and worshipped until the day of immersion. Pandals are held in public places for these idols brought together by a community as well. As the cities are increasingly populated and the enthusiasm among the residents grown, the number of idols has also rapidly increased. This results in traffic congestion and confusion during immersion day. Earlier, most of the idols made of clay were immersed in the sea and other water bodies. Over the years, however, the practice has changed and many organizers are vying with each other to have taller and larger idols that are made up of Plaster of Paris and use different paints to add glamour. When these idols are immersed in rivers, ponds and lakes, the constituents of these materials clog up water bodies and increase the ph. levels by adding to water pollution. Environmentalists have suggested various measures to minimize this damage by using natural substances or easily degradable materials like paper instead of thermocol.

Navratri and Diwali are the other two largely celebrated Indian festivals. During these festivals, families gather together to foster their ties and exchange gifts. A large amount of electricity is used for light decoration which can be replaced by using LED lights as they use 80% less energy. Bursting of crackers increases particulate matter, Sulphur dioxide and NO in the air beyond the safety levels as prescribed by National Ambient Air Quality Standard. This pollution induces many susceptible individuals to develop irritation, inflammation of the respiratory tract, cough and asthma. It is necessary to control our exposure to the noises around us. We should limit noise at daytime is 55 dB and in the night up to 30-40 dB to avoid adverse health effects.

The global temperature is rising subsequently resulting in glaciers to melt at an alarming rate and causing the sea levels to rise. Frequent droughts and storms, unexpected rainfall and changes in the rainfall patterns are all consequences of climate change. Global climate strikes have gained momentum, with many young people coming together to protest against climate change. The young are demanding changes in political dynamics to accommodate stricter policies that would aid our ailing planet. There exists a need to revisit certain traditional practices and ensure that disturbance and nuisance to the community at large are minimized and undue damage to the environment is avoided.
Celebrate sustainably, Celebrate responsibly!


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