Eidul Adha, like other religious festivals, often has a major impact on the environmental resources. Extra food, drinks and clothing’s are made, used and consumed making a major environmental footprint. The celebrations and festivity are often extravagant and cause pollution. The day starts with the special prayers whereby men, women and children gather to offer prayers. The site of praying after the ritual is often plagued by litter, rubbish and waste scattered all over the place and even blowing in the air and migrating to nearby safe heavens for unaesthetic accumulations.
Muslims on Eidul Adha’s perform ‘sacrifice of animal’ as a rite to celebrate the sacrifice given by Prophet Ibrahim to obey God’s command to sacrifice his son Ismael. Many of the residents do the sacrifice at their houses and other communal sites, which often are not cleaned later on from blood, skin, left over fats, intestines limbs etc.
After sacrifice, special food and meat in different styles is prepared in houses which are visited by the relatives and neighbours. This cause great food wastage as number of dishes and quantity of food prepared is more than the number of visitors. This practice is repeated in breakfast, lavish snacks, sumptuous lunches and extravagant dinners during the festival days.
We need to understand that the Government makes huge efforts in planning, procuring animals, food stuff and other related items for local consumption. It includes meat, poultry, meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy products etc. Meat and poultry is lavishly eaten during the Eid holidays. The demand of meat (beef and mutton), chicken and related meat products increase to around 50% of the normal demand.
Over the period of years, the festivities are increasing with more buying of consumable items and eatables per head. Consumption of eatables has increased many folds and people have become more wasteful due to rise in income, living standards and affordability. But affordability does not mean that wastage should increase. While planning for Eidul Adha celebrations, it is now imperative that we need to think twice before buying, procuring any food items, clothing etc and taking environment into consideration.
Let us change our attitude towards festivity and wastage and celebrate the festival in the right spirit by purchasing limited number of clothes and dressings with minimum packaging, preparing planned meals based on the actual requirements and number of guests to be served, making small or limited servings to the guests to avoid wastage, educating guests in avoiding left over’s and wasting food, serving drinks in small glasses, avoid using disposable cutlery, plates, napkins, tissues etc. and giving leftover food to the less privileged and poor people.
Let us strive to celebrate Eidul Adha in an eco-friendly way.