Offerings to Gods

We in India give generously to our gods if not to people who need it the most (pun intended). A country where people worship multiple gods and goddesses, offerings to these deities are made in various ways and one of them is in the form of flowers.

It is estimated that some 800 million tonnes of flowers, including roses and yellow marigolds, are offered across temples mosques and gurudwaras in the country with the second highest population in the world. Now imagine if people were to receive them instead. But that is not the point.

What happens to these heaps of flowers which are liberally showered day after day and month after month with devotion? Well, maybe one thinks they are dumped in landfills. But no, majority of them aren’t. Not in India where these flowers are considered sacred. So where do they go?

Most of them get thrown into local water bodies like rivers, ponds and lakes, that too without any segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable components. The logic being that most rivers are considered sacred too, specially the Ganges.

While industrial runoff is often singularly blamed for the spike in pollution level in majority of the rivers in India, floral waste rarely gets the blame. Believe it or not but floral waste reportedly accounts for almost 16 per cent of the total river pollutants. Toxic Arsenic, Lead and Cadmium from the harmful farm-runoff, pesticides and insecticides used to grow flowers mixes with the river water making it highly poisonous (PH 6-8.5). These major pollutants affect the lives of 400 Million people linked to contracting dysentery, cholera, hepatitis and severe diarrhoea, which are the leading causes of child mortality across India and Bangladesh. While rotting flowers affect the water quality, the pesticides that are used on them, leach into the waters harming marine life as well.

Human beings are creative beings, and fortunately there is a segment of people who have come up with various solutions to tackle this sacred issue which is ultimately harming the environment and life in more ways than we can think of.

Avacayam, The Art of Living Foundation and Help Us Green are some of the foundations that have been successful in giving these flowers a new life. Avacayam for instance, is not only recycling these flowers into organic Holi colours but is also enhancing the livelihood of disabled people by empowering them to make these beautiful colours. Similarly the other two have also come up with creative ways to upcycle these flowers into incense sticks and other products.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead

Next time when you decide to offer flowers to deities, think twice. Will be even better if you could buy upcyled products made from flowers as well and be a part of bringing about a change.

NCR – Where death comes easy

NCR – Where death comes easy

If you are wondering how is dying easy by simply living in the National Capital Region? Well, all you need to do is breathe. The only time we are concerned about the kind of air we breathe is during Diwali because we can simply put the blame on firecrackers. And then? We get lost in the humdrum of our daily life with each passing winter season.

It’s all quiet. And whether you like it or not we are all dying a slow death every single day and some faster than the others.

As per the recent report by Lancet, air pollution killed nearly 1.7m people in India in 2019 which has been rising significantly year by year as per the research. And specifically, India’s capital, Delhi, tops the charts in one domain (if not anything else) of being the most polluted city in the world during its winter. For residents of this city and adjoining areas, experiencing a thick smog with toxic air particles is not a surprise anymore, when we can see and smell the smoke we breathe. This toxicity rises as much as 500% higher than the level the World Health Organization deems healthy. Therefore we are extremely far from breathing healthy air, rather everyday we breathe in air that is hazardous and lethal for us.

According to Dr Arvind Kumar, a chest surgeon at Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital and chairperson of the NGO the Lung Care Foundation, “Air pollution affects anyone and everyone who breathes. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a sweeper on the street, both breathe about 25 000 times a day. However, the economic difference allows one to control the quality of air that goes into one’s lungs. An economically deprived person living in a shack or by the roadside has no access to any technology device which can in any way influence the quality of air.” And also, according to him, on an average day, when pollution is relatively lesser, people living in NCR inhale smoke equivalent to seven cigarettes a day and this increases with the level of pollution. So whether you smoke or not, you are smoking anyway including children and newly borns. Let’s not even discuss smoking hazards because we are all quite aware of those, but so far we only linked it to tobacco.

This year has been different, like an icing on the cake, pollution in Delhi was also connected to a rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths as the winter months set in, with the Indian Medical Association stating in November that 13% of the city’s recent Covid-19 cases may be linked to air pollution.

This week’s Lancet report also sets out the economic cost of the contaminated air, saying pollution fatalities in 2019 led to a total loss of $36.8bn, or 1.36% of India’s gross domestic product, with the poor and populous states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar hit worst.

“The high burden of death and disease due to air pollution and its associated substantial adverse economic impact from loss of output could impede India’s aspiration to be a $5tn economy by 2024,” the report says.

If this doesn’t wake us up and ignite the desire to do our bit towards the environment what will?

If you’re already on that path, do share your story with us.

Upcycled Gift bags. Anyone?

REd block print bag

Although the global awareness on environmental issues has increased tremendously, only a minute percentage of people have consciously changed their consumption patterns. Not that they don’t want to, but probably these products don’t add up to their coolness factor or their standards per se.

Nevertheless, we just don’t give up. We at The White Light, continue to find solutions to cater to the ‘likes’ of people, with bombastic designs, convince them to make the ultimate switch to conscious buying.

Our upcycled handcrafted gift bag is another one of our creations. Newspapers block printed and converted into super chic carry bags. Would you buy it or suggest it to anyone who cares enough?

True love is all around

Valentine4Who says we need to go looking for love. Look around you, it’s everywhere. Love is in the trees, the flowers, the birds and the songs that they sing. Inspired by nature’s love, we hand-painted yet another box in our ongoing series of celebrating love in its purest form.

View details of the box at The Love Tree.

The love season

As Valentines Day approaches, love seems to be in the air (as if other problems didn’t exist ‘in the air’). We nevertheless took it in our stride and went Valentine1with the flow.

We filled a box full of love, hand-painted with passion. The box is made from recycled cardboard and is handmade to perfection. Talk about making things with love and increasing handprints rather than carbon foot prints. Love, love, love all the way. Love right back to Mother Earth :).

And before we forget, you can buy this super lovable box here –  ‘Simply Love’.

Why The White Light uses recycled handmade paper.

trees

The White Light contributes to the environment in its unique way. Apart from being known to upcycle different discarded materials and giving them new life, we particularly also use recycled handmade paper for our range of products. Here are the reasons why:

Because one ton of Recycled Handmade Paper saves 3 tons of wood and 100 cubic meters of water. The water and wood saved for one ton of paper converts into:

• 6 trees for life giving oxygen, soil and water
• 3 years of cooking fuel for one village family
• 25 years’ drinking water for one person
• 1 square foot of land for a waste dump site

Aren’t these reasons good enough? If you want to contribute with us, you can buy our products online at http://www.thewhitelight.in.

Our vision is to bring a global shift in conscious buying.

The story of our Handcrafted mufflers

We love to exmuffler saleplore varied environment friendly materials that we can probably use. Not to be limited to paper or discarded fabric, because there is so much more to try, so much more to contribute to the environment, and so many more ways to protect it. Endo, this winter we developed a wide range of woolen mufflers. And we did get some amazing response for these. Makes us feel good, when more people get involved to nurture mother earth in whichever way they can. Of course, one of the best way is to do some conscious buying.

Check out more at http://www.thewhitelight.in