Be a precursor of greener Dashain
Dashain is a time of joy, and family togetherness. Taking blessings from the elders, worshipping goddess Durga and visiting the relatives, it is a festival looked forward to by most Nepalis every year. Nonetheless, in the excitement buying new clothes along with purchasing everything new and in excess has become a kind of trend with everyone. But when thinking about the environment, this habit doesn’t seem beneficial to Mother Nature. So, what about celebrating a green Dashain?
A green Dashain, however isn’t about going without, it is about being thoughtful and considerate of not creating a waste at the time of celebration, as a show of respect for the occasion and for our environment.
The benefits of cutting down on excess flow to your wallet, your bank account, your sanity, and your happiness, as well as to the environment, so there are plenty of good reasons to celebrate a green Dashain this year. Here are a few ideas to help you start this trend —
Reflect on the meaning of Dashain
What is Dashain for you? If the meaning of Dashain is lost beneath the rush to prepare for it and excessive spending, getting into debt, and even feeling of anger and deprivation when you can’t have what you want, it is hard to celebrate wholeheartedly. Whether you celebrate Dashain for religious reasons or as part of a tradition, it is the occasion to be together with your family members and have fun while being content with what you have.
So, as part of your reflection, consider how you can celebrate Dashain in ways that cut down on excess spending, packaging, eating, et cetera. As a reward, you’ll find focusing on less and that will bring about a more fulfilling experience for everyone.
One of the key problems at Dashain or any other festival is the lack of time and the excuses we make as a result. It’s easier to drop into a store and to buy excessive amounts of imported gift or food items (that we can take while visiting our relatives’ place for tika) because they’re cheap, plentiful, and right under our noses as we stock up at the last minute. Gone is the joy of planning and sitting down together as a family to prepare such gifts at home. While it is unrealistic for most busy families to prepare every gift on your own, marking a little time on your family’s calendar to make a few things can create a new family tradition, and gives everyone involved a sense of personal pride and achievement at having contributed something personal themselves. Giving homemade food as gift beautifully presented in eco-friendly packaging is a
delightful gift — part love and part delicious.
Opt for locally grown food
Rather than waiting for the imported food items or places far away from your locality, opt vegetables grown in your locality. If you live nearby the areas where farmers are growing varieties of veggies, visit the area with a list of the foods you need during Dashain. The food will be fresher and the shorter transportation distance will significantly cut down on carbon emissions. Avoid buying food that is overly packaged.
Don’t buy in excess
The current fuel crisis and shortage of other food items in the market may tempt you to buy in bulk and store them. But if all of us purchase only the required amount, then everyone will get the things needed with ease. Simply confirming how many people are eating will prevent you from preparing too much. Avoid throwing out any leftovers, the majority of foods can be kept for several days if refrigerated. Consider having some vegetarian food as well during Dashain. Eating more grains, vegetables, and fruit is not only healthy but will help to reduce your energy consumption, for meat takes a lot more water and energy to produce than plant foods.