A Vibrant Festival Transforms: Gen Z's Green Holi

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Sustainable Holi - How Gen Z Celebrates
Image courtesy of Pexels

Holi, India's iconic festival of colours, is a joyous celebration bursting with energy and tradition. Schools close, streets fill with laughter, and people shower each other in colourful powder. But beyond the celebration lies a growing concern - the environmental and social impact of the festival.

The two-day celebration begins with Holika Dahan, where bonfires symbolise the burning of negativity. While offering warmth in cooler regions, the widespread use of wood for these fires raises environmental concerns.

Day two explodes into a vibrant spectacle of colour throws. However, traditional powders often contain harmful chemicals and dyes, while excessive water usage raises concerns about sustainability.

Gen Z: Agents of Change

Enter Gen Z, a generation known for its environmental consciousness and willingness to challenge outdated traditions. They are weaving innovative and eco-friendly elements into Holi celebrations.

"Sustainable Holi isn't just about organic colours," says Samridhi, a 26-year-old sustainability blogger. She advocates carpooling, supporting local businesses, and opting for reusable items to minimise waste.

Natural colours made from flowers, vegetables, and kitchen ingredients offer a safer and more eco-friendly alternative. Priyanka Shinde, a 19-year-old from Pune, takes this a step further by using donated flowers and food scraps to avoid any unnecessary harm to the environment.

Vedang Gupta, a 20-year-old Delhi resident, discovered a way to reduce air pollution by using cow dung cakes instead of wood for bonfires. This not only saves trees but also helps local cow shelters.

Beyond Sustainability: Respect and Kindness

Social media is a platform for Gen Z creators to promote their eco-friendly approach. Sarah Mukherjee, a 22-year-old from Kolkata, shares fashion tips on upcycling clothes for Holi outfits, encouraging responsible consumption.

But Gen Z's vision extends beyond just sustainable practices. They champion a philosophy of respect and kindness that redefines the spirit of Holi.

Aditi Srivastava, a 24-year-old from Mumbai, stresses the importance of consent during Holi celebrations. "You can't force colours on people anymore," she says, challenging the old saying "bura na maano, holi hai" (don't get offended, it's Holi).

Similarly, Sara Singh, a 23-year-old animal rights advocate, highlights the plight of animals during Holi. Her group raises awareness against animal cruelty and provides care for strays during the festival. Online communities and offline initiatives are promoting quieter, more mindful ways to celebrate Holi.

Shifting Celebrations: From Crowds to Creativity

Rajveer Saxena, a 20-year-old Mathura resident, skips the crowded streets and captures the vibrant festival from the comfort of his rooftop using a drone, offering a unique perspective on the celebration.

Richa Rao, a 20-year-old student, opts for low-key celebrations with friends, creating playful dance videos and capturing slow-motion visuals of their colour throws.

Experiential trips are also gaining popularity, offering Gen Zers the chance to connect with nature and local communities, celebrating Holi in a more meaningful and environmentally conscious way.

As Gen Z continues to redefine the traditions of Holi, the festival evolves, fostering a spirit of joy, sustainability, and respect for all.

For more environmental news

Source: BBC

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