7 ways to celebrate an Eco-Friendly Holi!

Holi festival is one of the most awaited ones in India; One that is celebrated with much enthusiasm and grandeur. Lot of big stars from the Bollywood industry play hosts during this festival and their parties get a lot of attention and media coverage only adding to the glamour of the festival.

Holi also sees the enthusiasm in children peak as they eagerly wait for the festival to throw water balloons on each other or spray water or colour their friends with gulal.


But the modern Holi which is played with plastic balloons or colours that might have harmful chemicals is causing great damage to the environment. The plastic balloons tend to clog drainage systems that might lead to flooding when there is excessive rain. Children might swallow the Holi colours which have harmful chemicals or the colours might leak into our drinking water sources releasing the chemicals into them.

However, there are ways we can celebrate Holi without the causing any damage to our health as well as the environment.

Water Balloons


Below are 7 ways we can celebrate an Eco-Friendly Holi.

1. Make your own colours: Colours bought from the market come in plastic bags and often contain harmful chemicals. You can create your own colours at home instead with a little effort. Here is how you can do that,
  • Red Colour: Get hold of any flower that is red in colour such as hibiscus flowers. Grind the flowers and then simply mix the grounded powder with some flour.
  • Orange Colour: Soak Tesu flowers overnight in water or boil them. Once you get the orange colour, mix it with some flour.
  • Green Colour: Mix equal quantities of Henna powder and flour.
  • Pink Colour: Mix grinded beetroot with flour.
  • You can innovate and try making your own colour mixes. Do let us know in comments if you have any other interesting ways of creating colours.
Flowers to make colours
2. Use less water: It is estimated that an average person wastes 30 litres of water on Holi. Holi is a festival of colours and water need not be wasted on such large scales to celebrate Holi. And if you feel that Holi cannot be celebrated without water, you can set targets at individual levels or urge the society you live in to limit the access to water given on Holi day.
3. Avoid using plastic: Many states have already banned the use of plastic but plastic bags are still available in markets which are used as water balloons. You can make a conscious choice not to use any plastic at personal and family levels. You will be doing a great service to yourself and the future generations by limiting plastic use.
Plastic waste
4. Play Holi with flowers: An alternate way of playing Holi can be to play it with flowers instead of using colours. Flowers would not have the harmful chemicals of colours and would also be useful organic fertilizers for the soil once they have been used for Holi.
5. Celebrate Holi with Lunch or Dinner Parties: A lot of traditional dishes are made across India on the occasion of Holi. One great way of celebrating Holi can be a pot luck party with these traditional dishes. Some of the traditional dishes that are prepared during Holi are,
  1. Puran Poli
  2. Dahi Bhalle (Dahi Vada)
  3. Gujiya
  4. Malpua
  5. Rasmalai
  6. Badam Phirni
  7. Coconut milk murukku
  8. Pakora
Coconut Milk Murukku
6. Eco-Friendly bonfire: You can use eco-friendly waste like coconut waste, camphor, cow-dung waste etc. to light a token bonfire. You can avoid chopping off trees for wood to be burned at the bonfire.

7. Clean-up post Holi: Make sure that there is no litter that is left behind post Holi celebrations. Post Holi clean-up drive can also be a good way of teaching young children about caring for the environment.
PS: Also make sure that you do not spray colour on animals as their bodies do not have sweat glands like humans and end-up absorbing all the chemicals from the colours. 


If you have any other ways of celebrating an Eco-Friendly Holi, do let us know in comments.

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