Go green this Diwali seems to be the slogan of the environmentally conscious. For fireworks to shoot up into the air and explode several pyrotechnic chemical (materials capable of undergoing exothermic reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound) are used.

When the fire-crackers are set off these chemicals react and produce along with light and sound a huge amount of smoke and dusty mess that hangs in the air for long time after the magical luminary effects fade, said Local Committee president of international students organisation AIESEC, Siddharth Marupeddi.

Metallic salts are used in fireworks to produce light of different colours in the fire crackers. Calcium chloride is used to get orange colour. Similarly, sodium nitrate, barium chloride and copper chloride are used to give the airbursts yellow, green and blue colours. Caesium, Potassium and Rubidium are also used for indigo and violet colours.

More and more people are seeing bursting firecrackers as environmentally irresponsible form of entertainment.

“We are not against the traditional way of celebrating Diwali in which the homes are decorated with lamps and people having fun with sparklers and less polluting firecrackers,” said Siddharth. The students also have an online green diwali campaign as part of which the students are encouraged to create posters with environmentally friendly messages.

The traditional way in which the ‘festival of light’ is celebrated is considered a quieter way of celebration when compared to other countries where a lot of pyrotechnic and sound making fireworks are used.

The AIESEC external relations team leader Phani Viswanadham said that the organisation also had the ‘sky lantern’ project where people were encouraged to celebrate by releasing these glowing lanterns into the sky.

“Last year my daughter spoke about a green diwali and opposed the purchase of too many fireworks, but this year my son is also not buying any and that is something my wife and I are very happy about. Fireworks are a major source of anxiety for many parents,” said K. Sivarama Krishna, an employee of the State Government. (eom)

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