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The bond of protection for earth: Raksha Bandhan

Generations after generations we have been celebrating Raksha bandhan but over the years many things have changed in our practices. In our grandparents era, all the festivals they celebrated were aligned with nature & earth’s cycle. Till today, we continue to celebrate raksha bandhan on full moon day of Sharvan month of Hindu calendar. But we lost touch with the earth friendly rituals of this festival & got charmed into the consumerist façade created by large businesses.

So, this year’s Raksha bandhan let’s not just celebrate our bond with our siblings but also our bond with nature. Let’s revive some earth friendly practices in reverence & gratitude for nurturing & protection earth has provided us in all these many years.


Here are some tips to celebrate this festival in a completely eco-friendly way. We would talk about each part of the celebration one- by- one:


Rakhi-

An absolutely inevitable, a center of attraction of the festival is Rakhi. Most of the rakhi’s available in the market are plastic packaged & contain plastic beads & other such embellishments. We all are aware that after the festival they either reach the landfills or rivers.


There are options that can help you to shift to sustainable rakhi this year:

  1. Make your own rakhi - The most sustainable rakhi is the one you are making at home by yourself. There are a lot of tutorials available online to make your own rakhi but quite a lot of them are plastic/glitter used which is not good for earth. You can look for DIY seed rakhis, compostable rakhis, macrame rakhis(using wooden beads). This way you can save your rakhi of love from going to landfills/rivers.

  2. Packaging free rakhi- There are a lot of thread rakhi’s available in the market which are bulk packaged, saving plastic packaging for each individual rakhi. You could buy them instead of packaged rakhis.

  3. Eco friendly rakhis- With more ecological awareness, we see there are a lot of great eco-friendly options available online in different cost ranges starting from Rs. 20-30/-. A friend Ram Arora (IG:@22ram) has compiled a list of brands selling eco-friendly rakhis & you could refer to it to buy rakhis as per your budget & needs. Explore the links below for the same:



Sweets-

Second is sweets & raksha of the health of your sister/brother. The sweets that are available in the market are laden with high amounts of sugars, artificial flavourings, chemically produced milk etc. Why not make something at home, which truly brings the magic of your hands to your sibling relationship!

If your brother is health conscious, you could substitute sweets with buying packaging free sweet dry fruits like raisins, dried berries, apricots, apples etc .



Here are some quick & easy recipes that you can try instead of buying sweets from outside-

  1. Some satwik sweets without refined sugar & dairy milk- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzAuIwtXksY

  2. An easy peasy recipe that all chocolate lovers would relish- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iLyRMR2F0U

  3. 5-6 traditional jaggery sweet recipes made using options in various cooking styles- steaming, frying, cooking etc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eERsqSxacic


If you do have any time to prepare sweets, buy sweets in your container from a trusted sweet shop. This way you would save those sweet boxes from ending up becoming non- recyclable waste.


Gifts-

You could ditch those regular sweet & savoury celebration gift packs available in the market. They are the biggest contributor to this festival’s waste(which often goes unrecycled). Give something of value this year that doesn’t add to trash of the earth.

Some of the options you could explore as per interest of your sibling-

  1. Subscription- You could buy subscriptions like- Spotify( for music lovers), Netflix/Amazon Prime/Zee 5 for entertainment lovers, Canva, Doodly for your working professional sibling.

  2. Gift an experience- You could give them a learning/fun experience- a workshop/hobby class, travel passes or tickets to an amusement park/ museum etc.

  3. Online courses- you could ask them to pick a course from platforms like Udemy, Skillshare as their rakhi gift.

  4. Books/kindle/audiobooks- If your sibling is a book lover, you could buy them physical books, kindle device, audiobook subscription etc.


Talk to your sibling to figure out what they need. It is time consuming but it adds on to knowing your sibling better & making them happy with the kind of gift they require. If nothing works, you can give them cash/voucher to buy for themselves.


Before we end the article, We want to acknowledge that for some families all these shifts may seem revolutionary due to the traditions that have been followed for years now. Even after your efforts to convince them on these shifts, they want to buy a sweet box with proper packaging, so don’t fight & spoil the festive celebrations. It’s ok to start from 1 change, that is in your control. You can at least promise yourself that you would choose packaging free or eco friendly rakhi this year or ask your sibling to buy one for you.


*If you are interested in educating yourself or your child on zero waste celebrations & other sustainability practices, you can get in touch to know about our upcoming workshops for the same.

You can contact us at- 9560839287 (vaibhav) or visit for more details.*



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7 Comments


Good work preeti, You have not only covered eco Rakhi but other things like mindful gifting sweets have been covered and beautifully explained as well. Thanks a lot for featuring my Insta guides. I hope this initiative helps all the sisters out there who wish to celebrate Raksha Bandhan in Eco friendly style.

-Ram (IG - @22ram)

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FIRE BLAZER
FIRE BLAZER
Aug 12, 2021

Beautifully narrated with simple and meaningful language ..I am sure the readers will step back and reflect and make at least of. Small change of not all of the celebration ideas ...

you guys have thought through everything so well and recommendations are also very inviting and very kindly put and it reflects your vision of being kind to Mother Earth and taking care of her ....

thank you

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devangi doshi
devangi doshi
Aug 12, 2021

Hi very well explained in simple language. The idea of eco friendly rakhis is awesome and also I really liked the idea of gifts you mentioned, that’s very practical and thoughtful. It’s high time we start thinking about the environment. Good read and the links are useful too.

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Preeti Mishra
Preeti Mishra
Aug 12, 2021

We often forget how small things can make a big impact and this what I learnt here...thank you so much for this :)

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Replying to

Thank you preeti. As remembering and putting into practice one small things can take us long way.

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Mohammed Hussain
Mohammed Hussain
Aug 11, 2021

Impressive 👍 Need of the hour. We must start finding environmental friendly and healthy alternatives like this in all walks of our life.

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Replying to

Thank you for words of encouragement.

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