Plantable Seed Crackers: A Sustainable way to Celebrate Diwali
Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta, Associate Fellow, VIF

The most pressing issues of modern times are environmental degradation and climate change. The climate change issues have been further aggravated by increasing pollution. Among the different forms of pollution, air pollution is known to have global implications. It has become the major cause of deteriorating health, especially in urban areas. Air pollution has given strong short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) that contribute to both climate change and poor health including air pollutants like methane and black carbon. SLCPs have a brief lifespan in the atmosphere, but they frequently have a far larger potential for global warming than carbon dioxide (CO2). Lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory conditions like emphysema are among the long-term health repercussions of air pollution. Long-term exposure to air pollution can also harm human kidneys, liver, brain, nerves, and other organs.

In India, it is said that the air quality deteriorates after Diwali because of the firecrackers set off during the festival. Many studies have shown that Diwali causes a small but statistically significant increase in air pollution. The effect varies by city throughout the country. The capital city of Delhi is the most affected by this. Given the gravity of the situation, the Supreme Court of India declared a ban on firecrackers across the country on November 7, 2023. This is a positive move, but it is not sustainable because there have been numerous instances of violation of the Supreme Court's prohibition. Nevertheless, as the saying goes, modern problems need modern solutions; therefore many inventions have been made to improve air quality. To resolve the problems of firecrackers and their impact on air quality too, some sustainable inventions have been made.

Plantable seed crackers are one such invention. These are specific cracker-shaped objects embedded with seeds which may be acquired from the markets in lieu of crackers to promote sustainability and reduce waste. When planted, they mature into vivid plants that represent growth and rejuvenation. Plantable seed crackers are likely to revolutionise the way we celebrate with Diwali without actual fireworks, thereby providing a unique combination of tradition and sustainability. By socialising people to an alternative, they represent an intentional attempt to decrease waste and carbon footprint. NetZero Living, a Salem (Tamil Nadu)-based firm, provides a variety of goods and services to assist individuals decrease their environmental footprint, including plantable seed crackers. The company's founders, Mitesh and Esha, committed to producing many of these goods themselves and started by gradually by switching from everyday necessities to organically produced alternatives. The two of them founded the firm because they felt driven to share their experiences and ideas with a larger audience, inspired by the good effect they were making in their own lives and the increasing interest evinced by their family and friends. The company's founders actively get seeds and other raw materials from nearby merchants, a move that boosts the local economy in addition to helping the vendors.

The seeds for these crackers are selected to benefit the local wildlife and plants. By drawing pollinators and other species, they aid in the restoration of natural ecosystems and increase biodiversity. They offer a fantastic chance to inform and include both adults and children in the discussion of the value of environmentally friendly behaviour and their effects on the environment. Plantable seed crackers demonstrate how old traditions may be modified to conform to modern environmental principles by fusing innovation and tradition.

(The paper is the author’s individual scholastic articulation. The author certifies that the article/paper is original in content, unpublished and it has not been submitted for publication/web upload elsewhere, and that the facts and figures quoted are duly referenced, as needed, and are believed to be correct). (The paper does not necessarily represent the organisational stance... More >>

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