Sustainability made simple

How to Celebrate Holi More Sustainably in 2023

celebrate holi sustainably
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / murtaza_ali

Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably and enjoy the arrival of spring in ways that promote the growth and natural life it represents. Find out how with our easy guide.

Celebrating Holi sustainably in 2023 is important because the festival is associated with several negative environmental impacts – like chemical dye pollution, smoke emissions, and water consumption. The good news is that these problems are easy to address. Holi 2023 will be one of the most revered and widely celebrated Hindu festivals in the world, meaning small changes in large numbers will significantly reduce its carbon footprint.

Holi is sometimes called the festival of love or the festival of color. The two-day celebration usually begins on the eve of the full moon with a bonfire – which initiates the celebration and pollution. The next day, people unite together and forget all grudges, social divisions and resentments.

Holi is a lively, messy, and exceptionally colorful celebration. Lord Krishna’s festival is a celebration of love, color and the arrival of spring. It is a beautiful display of human emotion, in which people take to the streets and shower each other in color as a display of love. Just a few easy adjustments will extend that love to the planet and our future health.

1. Start Holi 2023 Without a Bonfire

Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably with a symbol of triumph over pollution.
Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably with a symbol of triumph over pollution. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Celebrate Holi 2023 and the power of good over evil without unleashing the fires of hell on the planet. The biggest threat from smoke to humans, wildlife, and the environment is from fine particles – or particulate matter. Particles can be carried over long distances and their environmental effects range from acidic rain and water systems, to soil depletion and reduced biodiversity.

Arrange to attend a public bonfire instead of lighting one at home next year if you can. Gathering at one location for a large show will generate fewer emissions than a series of small fires.

If you are celebrating the triumph of good over evil with flames at home, burn small quantities of natural fuel – like paper, leaves, wood, or cardboard. If you choose to burn wood, reduce particle pollution with these steps from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Only burn seasoned, dry wood, which burns hotter and cleaner.
  • Do not burn wood during air quality alert days, when air pollution is already higher.
  • Never burn green wood, construction waste, plastic, garbage, or yard waste.
  • Take extra care if you live in a dry region where wildfires are of concern.

2. Celebrate Holi Sustainably Without Water Wastage

Celebrate Holi sustainably without wasting precious resources.
Celebrate Holi sustainably without wasting precious resources. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / PixArc)

People often splash water at each other with toy guns and water balloons during Holi celebrations. This can occur before or alongside the spraying of colors. Even more water is needed to wash and clean up after the messy festivities are over. The tradition is linked to major wastage of water – even in areas where scarcity exists.

When reservoir water levels get lower, water supplies, human health, and the environment are put at serious risk. There are many easy ways to conserve water, and having a dry Holi 2023 is one of them. If you would really like to entertain and celebrate traditionally with water, harvest rainwater to conserve water supplies.

3. Use Naturally Colored Water

Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably by using natural colors from your kitchen
Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably by using natural colors from your kitchen (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Peggy_Marco)

Holi celebrations are heavily associated with environmental damage caused by toxic, synthetic colors that infiltrate the ground and our water systems. These unnatural colors restrict photosynthesis and in turn, lower the oxygen emitted from plants and the carbon dioxide they can absorb.

Don’t shower your your loved ones in harsh chemicals as a sign of affection during Holi 2023. Look to nature for some non-toxic and biodegradable ways to make colored water instead. You can achieve fabulously bright hues by looking to some naturally bright beauties that do not damage the planet.

To get your desired color, simply boil some collected rain water and add the foods on our list to your saucepan to get your specific hue. Allow to cool and infuse overnight.

  • Add beetroot slices for a lively pink.
  • Add turmeric slices or powder for the perfect spring yellow.
  • Add paprika for an earthy orange.
  • Add coffee or tea for a bold brown.
  • Add matcha tea for a gorgeous green.
  • Add blueberries or blackberries for a regal purple.
  • Add red cabbage with baking soda for a bright blue.

4. Create Non-Toxic Colored Powders

Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably in with non-toxic colored powders.
Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably in with non-toxic colored powders. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / LoggaWiggler)

To make colored powder for Holi 2023, simply add just enough of your colored waters to cornstarch or any white powdered sugar substitutes. Do not allow your chosen powder to get too wet. Stir the powder a few times over the next few hours to maximize airflow and drying. Allow to dry completely overnight and you will have your eco-friendly display of colorful love for a sustainable Holi celebration when you wake up.

5. Celebrate Holi Sustainably With Floral Tributes To Spring

Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably with flowers.
Celebrate Holi 2023 sustainably with flowers. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Monfocus)

Don’t generate unnecessary waste and gather some of nature’s most vibrant and attractive offerings – flowers. Discover what to plant and what will bloom in March so your Holi 2023 items can come from your own garden. Learn how to make your cut flowers last longer if you want fresh blooms on the big day.

If you don’t have a garden, try incorporating edible flowers to bring a burst of color to your plate and party. Alternatively, you could dry and preserve any flowers you receive between now and your sustainable Holi in 2023. The colorful and crisp petals of different shades will make the ideal confetti to shower those you love in and nature just welcomes them back to decompose naturally.

6. Sustainable Decor for Holi 2023

Turn your Holi celebration sustainable by making bunting out of old clothing.
Turn your Holi celebration sustainable by making bunting out of old clothing. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Photos by Lanty)

With every Holi celebration comes the joy of decorating your house or outdoor area with energetic blasts of color. Celebrate Holi sustainably in 2023 by saying goodbye to commercial party decor like balloons. Many species from both land and sea are heavily impacted by balloon litter – often eating them accidentally. Even the helium used to inflate our party favorites is a precious natural resource – needed for MRI scans in hospitals among other things.

Ditch the decorations on the shelf in the shop and check out a few shelves in your own home instead. Reuse empty candle jars or glass jars and fill them with pretty things from nature, like stones, flowers or leaves for a natural blast of spring. Recycle old clothes by making banners, ribbons or bows to decorate your home or family with.

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