While the festival of colours is just around the corner, we can already imagine the loads of delicacies piled up on plates, children’s giggles, meeting all our friends for crazy Holi parties and the air tinged with ‘gulaal‘. But wait, is that beautiful gulaal we use so happily, really all that good? Sadly, NO! The colours you usually buy from the market are synthetic colours that wreak havoc on you, your children, health and the environment. You might already have realized that these colours can cause skin problems but they have a serious impact on the environment too.
1. They Stay Around for A Long Time
The colours are synthetic, containing artificial dyes and highly structured polymers. What this means is that they are very hard for the environment to decompose naturally. Further, these are extremely toxic in nature and also cause water and soil contamination, making it difficult for plants to grow and polluting water.
2. Before It Begins
The degradation that chemical colours cause, does not just happen when we actually play with them on Holi but it actually starts a lot earlier. The messing up starts right at the time of manufacturing these colours. Since they are chemical, they contain harmful substances such as lead, mica powder, glass powder and acids. These are added to make the colours appear more vivid and attractive. Along with this, they also have artificial fragrances. Not only does this cause air pollution, the waste chemical substances from the factories are let out into rivers and oceans and one can imagine the immense level of pollution they would cause.
3. Remember the Animals
Most people would consider Diwali the worst festival for animals since firecracker pollution and the loud noises are extremely painful for animals. But Holi is really not far behind, if even more harmful. Animals have a different skin type and often, they are a lot more sensitive and not made to bear chemical substances. Dogs and other animals are often unwillingly smeared with colours, causing skin issues for them which are un-treatable. Stray dogs are the worst victims because they might even eat the food that is thrown on the streets and if chemical colours mix with the food on the street, as they often do, it causes immense health problems.
4. The Danger For Health
Since it is obvious that these colours have extremely harmful chemicals and do immense damage to the environment which is practically not fixable and irreversible, can you imagine the effect they have on humans? They can cause major skin allergies after coming in contact with the skin and they would be visible in the form of red bumps, rashes, irritation and burning sensation. If they get in the eyes, they could cause long term damage and other health issues if consumed during the mouth. All in all, not the prettiest picture for a festival.
So what’s the solution?
Two Words. Organic Colours. Remember how we mentioned that traditionally, colours were made from crushed flowers, fruits and vegetables? You can do the same!
Beetroot has a beautiful deep purple and magenta colour and you can either make a paste and dry it out or soak beetroot in water to make coloured water for water guns.
Use haldi for a gorgeous saffron colour and mix food colour in rice flour for the colour of your choice!
Do it the easy way, buy Organic Holi Colours here.
With just a few precautions, you can ensure that the festival is truly beautiful. Have a happy and safe Holi!