About our Diwali Special: How to light up your planet
- This Diwali, look beyond your own home
- Lounge brings you the ultimate guide to giving your time and money to NGOs and brands that celebrate Earth
Sorry for being harbingers of bleak news when you were all set to celebrate.
The “green crackers" you bought might just be a myth. Emissions from diyas are negligible but probably best avoided in closed rooms anyway. And now, flower garlands spell doom too—toxic chemicals, pesticides, depriving aquatic life of oxygen as they decompose in water bodies… no, you had probably never thought about the environmental cost of decorating with flowers.
Most of all, can you really celebrate while Kashmir is in the dark? This was one of the stories the issue started off with: a list of three legitimate NGOs working for Kashmir that could use your financial support even as you continue asking the right people the right questions.
Hand-wringing is tiring business. We had to get moving, even if it is baby steps as green volunteers. The Lounge team journeyed into forests and sanctuaries, rivers and parks, in an attempt to find out how each of us can lend a helping hand. From the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary in Assam to Wildlife SOS in Mathura, read dispatches from the team on picking garbage and planting jamun trees. Cleaning elephant poop for a week might not change the world. But it is a step towards understanding and accepting ground realities. Realities that Lounge deputy editor Bibek Bhattacharya has been releasing in bursts with his Climate Change Tracker every week since August. The Earth is not doing very well. It’s time to check in and do everything in your capacity.
Well, don’t lose your mind. And your manners. Don’t snap at a sweet relative who asks for your home address to send electric lights for Diwali. “No plastic, no plastic, never send me plastic," I heard myself screaming over the phone this week, to my own dismay.
Change happens over generations as the heartening example of Mahila Bai Pardhi and the Last Wilderness Foundation, who are slowly and strategically taking the Pardhis away from hunting, shows us. You can initiate real change in the smallest of ways. Step 1: Carry your own water bottle everywhere. We close this issue with my colleague Shrabonti Bagchi’s excellent compendium, complete with Akshay Kumar jokes, to keep you on track. Cut it out and paste it on your wall or soft board. A lighter conscience is a good way to bring in the festival of lights.
FIRST PUBLISHED25.10.2019 | 04:21 PM IST