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Celebrating Holi the Green Way: Embracing Eco-Friendly Colours

Bhubaneswar: As the vibrant festival of Holi approaches, the anticipation and excitement to immerse in a riot of colours soar high. Amidst the celebrations, a growing consciousness for sustainable practices has spurred a movement towards eco-friendly festivities. At the forefront of this green revolution are individuals like Khushi Lipsa Behura and Priyadarsini Das, pioneering the use of organic colours to promote a safe and healthy Holi.

Khushi Lipsa Behra, a young entrepreneur, has been championing the cause of eco-friendly celebrations through her initiative, Beyond Waste, for the past three years. Her journey towards crafting organic colours come from a personal concern for skin sensitivity and a desire to counter the harmful effects of synthetic dyes prevalent in the market. “My skin has always been sensitive, and most colours available are laden with chemicals harmful to our health,” shares Khushi. Determined to offer a safer alternative, she embarked on a quest to harness the vibrant hues of nature.

Utilizing locally-sourced ingredients, Khushi and her team meticulously making organic colours, drawing inspiration from the rich palette of Mother Nature. Beetroot and rose flowers lend their crimson essence to create a vibrant red, while spinach, neem, and curry leaves infuse a verdant hue of green. Turmeric and marigold flowers evoke a sunny yellow, while the delicate petals of Krushnachuda flowers impart a radiant orange. “We extract juices from natural ingredients and blend them with starch before sun-drying to create our powder,” explains Khushi, emphasizing the simplicity and safety of their process.

The response to Beyond Waste’s organic colours has been overwhelmingly positive, with demand extending beyond their native Odisha. “While awareness for organic colours is still nascent in our region, we’ve witnessed a growing interest from buyers across different states,” Khushi shares proudly, reflecting on their success in selling over 100 kg of colors this year alone.

In Bhubaneswar’s Star Club Apartment, another group of eco-conscious individuals is spearheading a similar initiative under the guidance of Priyadarsini Das. For the past few years, residents have come together to celebrate an eco-friendly Holi, crafting colours from locally available plant-based materials and soils. Priyadarsini and her team of volunteers, including Nivedita Biswal, Tandra Sahoo, Sandhyarani Bhutia, Alka, Dazy J, and Barsa Panda, collaborate to prepare an array of natural dyes, drawing from a diverse array of ingredients.

“We make more than 25 varieties of colours using raw turmeric, heena, rose petals, neem leaves, and other plant-based materials,” shares Priyadarsini. These organic hues not only lend a vibrant charm to the festivities but also boast skin-friendly properties, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Additionally, their eco-friendly nature minimizes water consumption during post-Holi cleanup, further contributing to environmental sustainability, she added.

“Through this initiative, our aim is to create awareness and inspire environmentally conscious individuals to participate in a safe and eco-friendly Holi,” Priyadarsini Das emphasized, underlining the importance of promoting sustainability in our festivities.

By embracing organic colours and sustainable practices, they not only advocate for a greener approach to festivities but also foster a deeper connection with nature, reminding us that every hue of joy can be found in the embrace of Mother Earth.

This Holi, let us paint the town green and celebrate the spirit of renewal in harmony with our planet.

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