I stood there at the Pooja mandap, eyes closed, rapid images of activities that culminated into this very moment, flashing across the inner eye. It had taken a week and innumerable trips around the market and popular websites to bring about this moment of joy.

Aarti bells interrupt the whirring thoughts. Someone touched my arm. It was time for the most awaited part of the festivities – The Feast. The occasion was our regional New Year celebration and I had guests. This time around, I had owed to make it special. A truly eco-friendly festival at minimum cost.

Where should I start? Flowers from the garden, more from neighbor’s garden, from roadside plants
flowering in abundance, lamps from used coconut shells with the wicks made from cotton pods and natural pressed oil, banana leaves, wooden ladles, homegrown vegetables, homemade delicacies…oh wait! What we talking about here! From the 20th floor of this city apartment, can I, the
WFH climber of corporate ladder, dare to dream of these?

So what next? Order stuff! To be truly ecofriendly, the packaging also needs to be ecofriendly. At least to be made of material that is recyclable or zero plastic like the  one Amazon uses. With just a few days left for the occasion and the guest list threatening to violate pandemic norms, I set out on an eco-journey, excerpts of which I shall share here. For those like me – wanting to but not knowing how to, these tips may prove to be a vital step towards a greener tomorrow. Perhaps some of you could share your own journey too. That will be a delight!

Refuse and Repurpose:
Tip One: Make up your mind and follow the 80:20 rule.
80% of what you have around and only 20% of new purchases if you must and none of them non-ecofriendly. Use what you already have and refuse to let plastics into your house. You can recycle, repurpose or use symbolism. Here are a few examples for any occasion:

Your Clothes: Mix and match to create your own new style. Change the blouse colour to a contrasting one with your favourite saree. Add a dupatta or scarf to your Kurti and tights to make a winning new combo. Repurpose your least worn saree to a glowing gown or a stylish salwar set. Use that blouse with another suitable saree an interesting look. Men can create numerus combos and throw in a jacket, scarf, shawl, a turban or a dupatta too. The list goes on… If you must get something new, go for natural cottons, stylish khadi and accessorize to give that jazzy festive look!

 

Your accessories: Use your long chain in a double row or wear it as a waistband and your friends will squeal jealous! What was an anklet then can now be a bracelet and vice versa, what was a neckpiece then, can now be a hair band or headpiece, a pendant then to a pinned up broche now. Wear a nose
ring and usher in the looks that can kill. Men can try contrasting pair of foot ware, a different watch or bracelet, maybe even a funky sports band to add colour.

 

Your Make Up: Remember, your make up can also make you look delightfully different; a new shade of lipstick blending two old ones, a thilak for both men & women for that festive look, variations in eyes, eyebrows, cheek make up are plenty to experiment with for the new look … the list is endless,
limited only by your creativity.

While we will continue this journey as a series over the weeks, a few products are worth a try from the well-researched basket of Green Mitr, curated for your ready reference…for your 20% quota!