Independence Day 2020, Let’s March Towards Plastic-free & Green India
August 15, Independence day is a very special & historic day for all the Indians. Though this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the celebration will be held with certain guidelines, health protocols, and social distancing norms and it won’t be a big affair, unlike other years. The guidelines say that the number of guests will be limited and no kids will be allowed to attend the ceremony at Red Fort. The events organized could be web-cast to reach out to people at large, who are not able to participate.
This year’s celebration will be completely dedicated to Corona fighters/warriors, including doctors, policemen, nurses, and other healthcare workers.
For the school students, as part of the Independence Day celebrations, The Ministry of Education (MoE) and MyGov will jointly organize an essay competition under the theme ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat-Swatantra Bharat’. This essay competition will be held online. Students of Classes 9–12 can send their essays to innovate.mygov.in/essay-competition before August 14, 2020. The Central Institute of Education, National Council of Education and Training (NCERT), will administer the online easy competition and the winners shortlisted will be awarded at the national level. To know more, checkout NDTV Education.
Even in this pandemic situation, our Government is thinking of all possible ways to keep the celebration safe yet making it possible for all of us to participate directly or indirectly. In the same way, we should also make sure that we make positive changes and celebrate Independence keeping what we need Independence from like plastic which is the major enemy of India, our Planet, and Mother Earth.
Some ways to go Eco-friendly this Independence day:
Replace Plastic Flags with Seed Flags
Avoiding plastic flags will be the first step to be eco-friendly this independence day. Throwing flags in the bin or on roads shows huge disrespect as well as does harm to the environment. In replacement, we can use seed flags. As per reports of TOI, a biotechnology engineer came up with the idea of a seed flag made of waste cotton fiber having tomato and chilies seeds embedded in it. Once sown, it grows into a plant under normal climatic conditions.
Replace Balloons with Birds
Releasing a large number of balloons into the sky could be the sign of the eternal flight of free nations but it can be harmful to the environment as well as the birds. Balloons are made of synthetic rubber or latex which doesn’t decompose and stays on Earth for years. The balloon thread gets stuck to the flying birds and because of that, they may die also at times. Replacing balloons with the uncaging of birds will be the true symbol of independence and freeness. We can release the white pigeons to relive the spirit of liberty and joy of independence.
Plant at least one tree
Planting trees is always good to help your mother nature to heal but we should take a pledge to plant at least one tree on the auspicious day of independence. This can be done by encouraging children to plant trees in their neighborhoods and school.
Feed the hungry
Rather than spending a lot of money buying decorative stuff on independence day, we can feed the hungry people. It doesn’t need much time, effort, and money, just a matter of thinking and inclination of love towards needy ones. “Sharing is Caring”, is the slogan we should follow and teach our children also to develop a habit to not waste food and feed hungry people.
Say No to Loudspeakers
Noise pollution is the most ignored type of pollution in India. Instead of playing loud patriotic songs on loudspeakers, we can have other activities to celebrate independence day like poster making, face paintings, etc. They will enhance the exchange of thoughts and patriotism within hearts. At the end of the day, we can watch patriotic movies with the family.
Make sure to clean up the litter
A celebration is good in every form but leaving the place dirty is not a good habit. Even PM Narendra Modi always used to mention “Swachh Bharat” in his Independence Day speech at Red Fort. We should also make it a motto to clean our neighborhood neat and clean. Make garbage management rules for society and houses. Educate people regarding separation.
Refrain from Fireworks
Once again like loudspeakers, fireworks create noise pollution as well as air pollution. Firecrackers expel large amounts of toxins in the air which is very dangerous to our health and environment too. Children, elderly people, and animals could be critically affected by these toxins.
Conduct DIY sessions with kids
Conducting DIY sessions with kids on Independence Day could be a very good idea to make them aware about the country and our independence history. Kids can make paper Flag crafts, rock painting with tricolor, collage making, fancy dress parties at home, etc.
Donate goods & cloths
Try to start your Independence Day with the donation of goods and clothes to your helpers, gatekeepers, NGO’s or nearby donation box. There are a lot of people who need clothes and food, a little effort in providing clothes and other goods can make their day brighter and happier.
Wish each other using E-cards
Make good use of technology. Wish each other with e-card replacing paper cards. It will decrease the wastage of paper because ultimately these cards will go in bins.
Skip single-use plastic
Plastic is the real enemy of our earth and nowadays it is everywhere messing with our roads, rivers, and water bodies, killing animals, and blocking large drains. Let’s take a pledge this independence day not to use single-use plastic and try to stick to it.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.” This Independence Day we can do something for these speechless creatures. Adopt a stray dog or cat. Donate for the cow’s shelter/gaushala. Go vegan, even just on this day. Vegan food doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless. Do something special like firing up the BBQ and chargrilling the tofu, veggies, with seasoning and a hot sauce, and enjoy with the whole family.
Places where you can buy seed flags
- Rohith B R / TNN / Aug 14, 2018. “This Independence Day, Turn Your Tricolour into a Sapling: Bengaluru News — Times of India.” The Times of India, TOI, timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/this-i-day-turn-your-tricolour-into-a-sapling/articleshow/65396033.cms.
- Person. “Celebrate Independence Day With A Cause: 5 Places Where You Can Buy Seed Flags.” Mumbai Live, Mumbai Live, 12 Aug. 2019, www.mumbailive.com/en/culture/celebrate-independence-day-with-a-cause-5-places-where-you-can-buy-seed-flags-38487.
- Edex Live Edex Live, and Edex Live. “This Republic Day, Fly a ‘Seed Flag’ with the Students of Sai Gramam in Kerala.” The New Indian Express, www.edexlive.com/happening/2019/jan/24/this-republic-day-fly-a-seed-flag-with-the-students-of-sai-gramam-in-kerala-5129.html.
- Aastha Ahuja | Sonia Bhaskar. “Flags That Grow Into Plants, This Independence Day #BeatPlasticPollution With This Nature-Friendly Alternative: Waste Warriors.” NDTV, 10 Aug. 2019, swachhindia.ndtv.com/flags-that-grow-into-plants-this-independence-day-beatplasticpollution-with-this-nature-friendly-alternative-36187/.
- India TIMESOFINDIA.COM, Times of. “Independence Day 2020 to Be Celebrated with Social Distancing Norms; Dedicated to COVID Warriors.” Times of India Travel, 30 July 2020, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/travel-news/independence-day-2020-to-be-celebrated-with-social-distancing-norms-dedicated-to-covid-warriors/as77261052.cms