Shifting Towards Green Weddings

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Green Weddings

As our weddings have turned into waste generation events, many environmentally conscious people across the world are opting
for eco-friendly and green weddings where very less use of plastic and non biodegradable material is made. In India as well, the Green Weddings have many takers and this shift shows
love and care of many environmentally conscious people. Managing waste isn't a big challenge in plains of India where there is enough land to create scientific landfill sites, but in a place like Kashmir valley which is itself a kind of massive wetland , managing waste is indeed a challenging task. In such a situation people of Kashmir should be more conscious about waste and its safe disposal. We cannot afford to generate huge plastic waste which will finally get dumped into Jhelum , Dal Lake , Wullar Lake or inside other small wetlands and forests. Shifting towards green weddings will help build eco-consciousness among people.

Many wedding event management companies in many Indian cities
planners say the popularity of green weddings is gaining momentum among educated people. It is not just a craze but a deliberate attempt to protect our surroundings like water bodies , forests , lakes , open spaces and forests. Few weeks back a video went viral on social media wherein a family had dumped all the wedding / wazwan trash near the banks of Doodh Ganga river at Kralwari Chadoora in central Kashmir's Budgam district.
Two public spirited young men Aamir Khan and Farooq Abdullah who belong to nearby Borwah village not only highlighted that inhuman act on social media but they collected the trash from there and disposed of it as well. In many places in India people are shifting towards biodegradable decor to eco-friendly marriage. Every step they take echoes the couple's respect for nature.

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This author along with my team of activists have
decided to create awareness on green weddings and we will try our best to give people solutions as well. This article is aimed towards that
and I am sure people will adopt sustainable practices during their weddings.

What can we do?

Kashmiri weddings are incomplete if we don't use items made of plastic or other non- biodegradable material. Even the ceremonial dining spread commonly known as
which is essentially made of cloth has also been replaced with plastic material. We can again make use of white cloth as Dastarkhan. The yogurt that used to be served in clay vessels 15 to 20 years back has been replaced by plastic curd bowls. One clay vessel
with half litre of curd can replace these plastic curd bowls. This use of plastic glasses and packed water bottles can be replaced by reusable glass , copper or steel glasses. In addition to it two to three filtered water cans can be made available in the hall / tent to serve the water. The most dangerous among all these items is the thick plastic pouch bag with aluminium coating used to pack the leftover mutton dishes. This item takes at least 1000 years to degrade. This is the most harmful thing used in our weddings & the hot wazwan dish placed in this bag makes it more dangerous. This article
can be replaced with a thick butter paper bag and & the same can be placed in a thin cardboard type carry bag which is already available in the basket served during the wazwan feast. Only thing is that we have to handle the butter paper with care and allow the dishes to cool down on a plate (trami). Only cotton towels should be served during the weddings and let us avoid using wet tissues etc because its packaging is a highly non biodegradable item and one has to struggle a lot to open it as well. To clean hands let the wet soap and hot water be used instead like it was done in the past.

The small hand towels made from plastic material, chocolates, chewing gums , wet tissues etc
supplied to guests during weddings must be avoided. During the wedding feast served at the bride's house (Baraat , Mahraz saal) the use of unnecessary items is immense.
The dry fruit and juice is served in a huge box and there are so many unneeded items which can be avoided.

This waste generated during wedding functions
is very much harmful for our environment in view of Kashmir's
unique topography. This non -biodegradable waste is either dumped inside rivers , streams or lakes or is landfilled unscientifically by our Municipalities or contractors hired by Panchayat Institutions.

Going back to our roots

culture that has been part of our lifestyle for ages possesses its own unique, deeply-ingrained beliefs and traditions especially for minimizing waste.

30 years back we hardly used plastic material in our marriage ceremonies. There were no disposable items at all. This was the same with other cultures as well. For centuries we had adopted a unique culture but when we shifted towards the culture adopted from the west , we are now facing disasters. In-fact
western societies
from whom we imitated the present lifestyle
are now adopting eco-friendly lifestyles but people in the Indian sub continent especially Kashmir valley are caught up in a rat race. We want to pomp and show during our weddings and other social gatherings.
Can't we take measures to make our weddings green i.e plastic free or at least reduce usage of non-biodegradable things? If we can take some steps in this direction we can at least reduce 80 to 90 % plastic / non biodegradable waste in each wedding and in the coming years our weddings will be absolutely waste free. This will give our Kashmir valley more breathing time, otherwise it will collapse in the next few decades because our landmass is less and waste generation is immense.

  • Views expressed in the article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer

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