Eidul Adha, like other religious festivals, often has a major impact on the environmental resources. Extra food, drinks and clothes are made, used and consumed which results in a major environmental footprint. The celebrations and festivity are often extravagant and cause pollution of different forms.
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 and unhygienic accumulations.
Muslims on Eid al Adha perform ‘sacrifice of animal’ as a ritual to celebrate the supreme 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, leftover fats, intestines, limbs etc.
After sacrifice or Qurbani, special food and meat in different styles is prepared in houses which are visited by the relatives, neighbours and well-wishers. 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 manifolds 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 Eid al Adha festivities and celebrate it 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 leftovers and wasting food,
- serving drinks in small glasses,
- avoiding disposable cutlery, plates, napkins, tissues etc. and
- giving leftover food items to the less privileged and poor people.
Let us strive to celebrate Eid al Adha in an eco-friendly way.