Planning for a low-waste festive season

Posted by Samni Dhiman on


In India, the festival season lasts all year long! Our festivals, like Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Ganesh Utsav, Eid, Christmas, Pongal, Baisakhi, and many more, are not just occasions for religious observance or spiritual enlightenment but also for extravagant, joyful celebrations. They involve a cacophony of colours, brand-new attire, customary ornamentation, feasting, and having a good time with loved ones. But some of these can have a large carbon footprint too.

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Even though the holidays are joyful, some of our cherished customs can be wasteful. The holiday season can be particularly harmful to the environment due to food waste, gift-wrap waste, and transport emissions. Fortunately, there are several straightforward approaches to responsibly celebrate the holidays and carrying on your beloved traditions.

Here are some ways to have a low-waste holiday season this year

Use Cloth Totes 

  • Frequent trips to the market on your agenda? Please make sure to carry a re-usable tote bag in your purse
  • In fact please use cloth or old newspapers to wrap your gifts this season - signature touch and so much better for the environment
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Donate or Recycle

As a sustainable brand, we believe in recycling and reusing the clothes you already have rather than dumping them in landfills. By donating your used clothes in a sensible way, you will help decrease textile waste. Globally, less than 1% of all textile waste is recycled and reused clothes.


The Clothes Box Foundation : This NGO provides people from disadvantaged backgrounds with used clothes and toys. The Clothes Box team sends contributors pictures of donated items being used by the beneficiaries as assurance of complete transparency.

Write to them at:

Or visit their website:


Raddi Connect : Raddiwallahs, or scrap collectors and dealers, play a crucial role in India's recycling sector. The organisation called Raddi connect  is helping  people who want to get rid of junk.   The trained raddiwallahs will come to your door, collect the goods, weigh them using an electronic scale, and donate a portion of the proceeds to NGOs affiliated to Raddi Connect.

Contact them: 919004240004
Write to them at:
Or visit their website

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GoonjAnshu Gupta, winner of the Magsaysay Award, founded the NGO Goonj. When developing rural and slum areas, they take donated clothes and make use of it as a vital resource. They have drop-off centres in various parts of the country, including Kolkata.

You can visit GOONJ Kolkata, Plot No. AA-8, Prafulla Kanan(West), Kestopur to donate clothes.

Or write to them at : ,


The R.K. Foundation : The R.K. Foundation manages a number of initiatives to address problems with hunger, health, education, and the environment. One such project is a clothing bank called Vastraa, where employees from the R.K Foundation gather new or gently used clothes from "individual donors and corporate citizenship programmes." Later, they sort the clothing by size and gender before distributing it to other community and civil society organisations.

You can drop off the clothes at No 2 & 3, New Raja Bulding, 2nd Floor, N.R Road, Bangalore – 560 002.

Visit their website here :

Use Eco Decor

Use recycled materials to decorate your home, such old sarees for wall art, newspapers for wrapping, and painted plastic bottles. Engage kids in an inventive upcycling activity. Consider buying LED lamps for decorative lighting since they offer a high level of energy efficiency and a long lifetime.

The Rug Republic : Delhi-based By recycling  plastic bottles into carpets, The Rug Republic helps to fight for environmental degradation. Their experts create carpets and rugs to beautify your house using yarn made from the used water bottles.

Link :

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Oorjaa : Oorjaa, a company that creates unique lamps out of sustainable materials, is the result of a partnership between lighting designer Radeesh Shetty, The Purple Turtles, and Jenny Pinto, who founded one of the first handmade paper design studios in India in 1998. Their unique designs are made by hand using materials including paper made from agri waste's natural fibres, such as banana fibre and lokta fibre paper.

Link :

Zwende : It offers handcrafted products, eco-friendly festive decor options with customizations. A real find!


Go for safe rangoli colours

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Use herbal gulaal rather than chemically-laden colours because they are better for the earth and your skin. You can also make your own colours with turmeric, sandalwood, or henna, or you can purchase them from regional artists like Phool, iTokri, and Antarkranti.

Opt for functional gifts

Instead of using standard plastic bags or boxes to package sweets or gifts, use eco-friendly Diwali gift boxes. If you’re looking for super functional gifts, consider Koparo’s gift boxes with natural, safe and amazingly fragrant cleaners!

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Spare a thought for our furry friends

Yes we know it’s the season of festivity and fun, make sure your dogs are not left alone at home. As a result of the loud celebration happening outside during Diwali, you'll find that your dogs will get even more disturbed. Do not ignore your pets, when making your guests feel at home. Never put them on a collar or lock them in another room. Involve your pets in the celebration, they'll be less scared. Keep your pets away from the rangoli colours, the toxic colours can be harmful to pets.. Avoid feeding your pet any special, fried, or rich Diwali food to avoid disturbing their tummies.

Invest in earthen diyas

Use normal earthen oil diyas rather than candles to light up your home during Diwali. However, avoid the painted ones because they contain artificial colours that are harmful to us. Candles contain petroleum, which burns toxically and poses a risk to both human health and the environment. If diyas seem too much for you, invest in quality LED lights because they use less power than normal ones and last much longer.

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Entertain in (sustainable) style

As far as possible cook at home or better still ‘pot luck’ with friends. Say no to disposable cutlery and serve in your china or steel/copper plates. Serve visitors with water in home tumblers rather than the plastic water bottles from your local store. 

For two years, the pandemic had put a dampener on the festivities, but this is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with our loved ones. Enjoy the upcoming festival season king-size but let's be conscious of taking care of our shared world too.


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