Hej Bare Fam!
We’re back with another round of workshops in collaboration with IKEA. With the onset of the festive season, we delved into the spirit of celebrating festivals sustainably. Across Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bengaluru, we had the amazing opportunity to interact with IKEA customers. Engaging in delightful discussions and sharing insights to make a significantly low impact on the planet this festive season.
The waste crisis that beholds
India, with its diverse myriad festivals, offers a joyous and vibrant time. It has everyone eagerly looking forward to the festivals, making it supremely special. Unfortunately though, and often ignored part of the festivals is the substantial waste generated.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the amount of trash produced increases by an estimated 25%—that's about one million extra tons of garbage each week.
Taking an example to help elucidate the issue at hand. During Ganesh Chaturthi, the customary Ganesha Idol is often crafted from plaster of Paris and is decorated with toxic paints. Subsequently, when the idol is immersed in any water body, these hazardous materials pose great danger to the health of the water bodies. Additionally, the celebratory items such as flowers, decorations and garlands make their way to the shores, further exacerbating the problem.
As we are approaching Diwali, we can expect air pollution levels to shoot up owing to firecrackers that we typically burst during this time. As of 9th November 2023, Delhi’s air quality was under the ‘severe’ category, with AQI recorded at 423, leading to schools shutting down. Bursting crackers during the festival will further deteriorate air quality.
Taking a global perspective, the UK throws away approximately 500 tonnes of Christmas lights each year!
These facts and figures are testament to show that we need to collectively work together to urgently address the crisis.
While confronting these facts is surely overwhelming, it is of paramount importance that we acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. We all have a critical role to play to improve the current state of affairs. Through our partnership with IKEA, we discovered plenty of innovative and easily implementable solutions that can be adopted in our homes. After all, home is where it begins!
Festive season is the time when we all come together to host our loved ones. When we plan our events, let’s begin to think backwards to identify elements that can be easily avoided or swapped out for sustainable options.
From using sustainable invitations using seed paper or e-invites to reusable cloth based decorations and compostable flowers, the zero waste possibilities are limitless. Gifting can be disrupted by using newspapers or cloth. It can also be more personalised by gifting starter's kits into sustainability or offering experiences, homemade goodies, plants, or handmade items instead of conventional gifts.
No festive season is complete without the warm glow of lights brightening our homes. However, around 25% of the world’s energy consumption is used for lighting. The best way to tackle this would be to choose energy efficient options like block candles or to invest in IKEA’s reusable LED lights. Did you know that LED lights use approximately 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and 18% less than CFL? Not only that, LEDs last for approximately 25,000 hours or around 20 years of standard usage at home. So buy it once and use it forever!
The key highlight at festive parties is the food! And this time, opt for serving in reusable cutlery, minimising plastic waste. Choosing to cook meals at home significantly reduces plastic waste that otherwise comes in catered food. You can make it a fun family activity by having everyone involved!
Set up segregation spots at your event to encourage responsible waste disposal. Connect with waste segregators, who can collect and compost your wet waste. To help with your waste segregation, IKEA has some amazingly efficient waste sorting bins to create segregation stations.
We brought the episode to a culmination on a fun note as we worked on a DIY! Our audience decorated a beautiful reusable vase using earth friendly materials. By placing a candle inside, it can be used as a decor item this festive season!
As we wrap up yet another insightful and engaging collaboration with IKEA, we are proud to have raised awareness on sustainability at this opportune time. In the spirit of Bare, let’s celebrate festivals while embracing precious positive change!