Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala, which celebrates the bond between man and nature. Each of these festive occasions is also marked by splurge of wealth on feast and garments. However, the rain havoc last year had played a spoil sport and this year too the monsoon fury had inflicted severe damages, though in a lesser scale. As recurring calamities underscore rsing concerns of climate change, sustainabily can also be followed in celebrations too.
To kickstart a new wave of change here are a few means to make this Onam celebration sustainable by opting to recycle and share instead of wasting.
Onam Sadhya (feast), undoubtedly, is the most awaited feature of the festival. It might be ravishing but result in large quantities of wastage. A good harvest is gift of nature and while sharing the fortune and happiness with family is a custom, sharing the same with the underprivileged outside the family can set a trend with this Onam.
The Pookalam (floral carpet) in connection with Onam takes a lot of effort and garners attention and praise. But it loses its charm right after the festivities conclude. Oftentimes these flowers, hardly wilted or damaged, are crushed and discarded. Remember, flowers from your Pookulam can serve a few other purposes too. They come with natural oils that can be extracted and used in perfumes. Another option is to use this as compost and give back to the earth what we have plucked from it.
As goes Indian tradition, any festival marks a excess use of water. Since Kerala is a state blessed with abundant rainfall and water resources we have always underestimated and downplayed the severity of water scarcity. But that is not right. Water can be used judiciously. This Onam, always keep in mind not to waste a signle drop of water.
Wealth from waste
Instead of spending too much money on decorative materials, use old articles and natural items. Beads, seeds, fallen leaves and even sticks can be used to render a very earthy touch to your Onam, if you can channel your creative skills. These items may create an organic vibe and reduce consumption and wastage.