India has recently taken great strides to join the Green movement, such as tightening up environmental regulation or installing solar panels, but the approach of Diwali is no exception. Known as the festival of lights, Diwali is an important event in Hindi culture. It has long been custom for people to celebrate the festival by shooting off fireworks, but this year, there will be a more eco-friendly approach; firecrackers made from recycled paper, which lack the harmful chemicals found in typical fireworks.
IANS cites A. Muthu, a fireworks dealer in Tamil Nadu, who says, “Unlike the normal cracker making method, the eco-friendly crackers are based on vacuum combustion method. These crackers produce colourful sparks with a considerable sound and less smoke.”
Muthu continues, “All the major metros demand eco-friendly crackers, while people in villages and small towns still prefer high-decibel crackers.” As India turns greener, more and more smokeless firecrackers are being produced, in response to demand. “With demand increasing for environment-friendly crackers, we are producing more of them by adding less of chemicals like sulphur and potassium nitrate,” adds fellow dealer S. Abumandi.
IANS also cites a shopkeeper in Delhi, Piyush Sharma, who claims, “There is definitely a shift in choice among the customers. Earlier, they used to prefer high-decibel crackers. Now, over 55 percent go for eco-crackers, which do not cause much noise pollution.”
While turning to eco-friendly firecrackers is a move in the right direction, there are more prominent ways in which India is going green. In one ambitious plan, 100,000 Indian children will implement a project known as Green India Mission, or GIM. The goal of GIM is to increase India’s forest coverage from 20 percent to 33 percent over the next ten years. This $9 billion plan is one of eight plans that are a part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. Indian news reports, “In view of the massive urbanisation and construction of houses and infrastructure, parks, grasslands, wetlands and open spaces across India would be in danger. Under the GIM, these areas would be protected.” Tough laws have to be enacted for everlasting protection of the open spaces.”