With Halloween and then Diwali around the corner we will soon be able to see carved pumpkins trashed outside every door and firework remains and smog enveloping us.
Carving jack o lanterns is one of the most popular practices during this time of the year and what was mainly an American holiday is now a cultural export being celebrated in other regions of the world, too. Diwali celebration, too, sees air pollution levels shooting up in many regions in India— its capital Delhi becoming the major polluter. The nightmare then becoming real for the environment.
Every year tonnes of food waste is generated due to Halloween celebrations. Decomposing pumpkins emit methane, a greenhouse gas, thus significantly contributing to global warming and air pollution.
With Diwali the menace does not stop at air pollution or food waste plastic — pollution from all the gifting and gift wrapping, noise pollution with the fireworks devastating to pets, birds and other animals, soil pollution as well as water pollution from the waste dumped into the water and toxins deposited in the soil.
It's all fun and games until the consequences of our actions come back to haunt us for years to come. My intention is, in no way, against celebrations but about being responsible and about finding innovative ways to celebrate, so tomorrow our heads wouldn't have to hang in shame for all the harm we do to Mother Earth and the future generations, that is, if there will be one.
Let us be more aware of the actions we take when it comes to putting our planet at risk.
How can we be more environmentally conscious during this time of the year?
Either by completely renouncing the celebration, which could be a bit harsh for most people, or by being responsible and following the mantras REDUCE, REUSE AND RECYCLE as well as ANIMALS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO!