If festivals are all about finding a means to get closer to divinity, then why is it that they are often associated with our irresponsible attitude towards Nature?
Last week I read about the unimaginable trail of pollution Christmas celebrations leave behind in the UK. Some estimates say that nearly three million tonnes of waste hits landfills by the time the festivities wind up. Of which, nearly 160,000 tonnes is food waste, over 80 square kilometres of wrapping paper, and 80,000 tonnes of clothes. Add to it 150,000,000 cards and parcels that are bought and given away every day as Christmas approaches. And that runs into nearly one billion cards in the UK alone. We all know where these cards and wrapping paper and parcel material end up eventually, if not immediately.
Now, think of all the trash generated by all such developed nations?
We, poor ‘Third World’ inhabitants, can breathe a bit easy. Because apparently, it takes entire India one whole month to produce so much of waste as the UK does in just a few days in the run-up to Christmas.
However, it doesn’t absolve us from the crime of creating horrendous levels of pollution that India leaves behind many times a year—most of which is difficult to quantify. Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi… to name a few.
That’s just being self-critical about what’s happening in our own backyard.