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Holi Colors

How to make your own Holi Colors - A way to Healthy and Eco friendly Holi

Eco Friendly Holi ColoursIn ancient times Holi was being celebrated using natural colors such as turmeric (haldi), kumkum, neem, bilva, flowers, and other ayurvedic herbs which has medicinal properties.

Today the colors have oxidized metals, industrial dyes, chemicals such as lead oxide, copper sulphate, etc and are hazardous to health. They cause pollution of water bodies, soil and indirectly impact the flora and fauna. Go for natural colors - Play dry Holi and avoid use of water.

Color Ingredient Process
Magenta Beetroot and water Grate the beetroot and soak in 1 liter of water overnight to obtain magenta color. Dilute with water to attain desired colors strength
Blue jaconda, berries of indigo plant, blue hibiscus, indigo powder (Neel) jacarandaflower can be dried in shade and grinded to obtain a blue powder. The flowers bloom in summers. Blue hibiscus can be grinded to obtain blue gulal indigo (neel), which is used as a fabric whitener, can be used as a bright blue powder
Saffron Turmeric powder, amaltas, and marigold or chrysanthemums sandal wood powder Add a little turmeric and sandal wood powder to rose water to make a saffron-colored solution soak a few stalks of saffron (kesar) in two tablespoons of water for a few hours. Then, grind them to a fine paste and dilute them with water to get the desired color.
Magenta Red Rose petals and sandal wood powder Dry red rose petals under direct sunlight grind them and use as red gulal. Red sandalwood powder can be used as red gulal. Soak red rose petals in water overnight filter the rose water in the morning for red-colored water.
Sunny yellow Turmeric powder, amaltas, and marigold or chrysanthemums Mix two teaspoons of turmeric water with four teaspoons of gram flour (besan) for using it as yellow gulal. Boil one teaspoon of turmeric in two liters of water to yield a deep yellow color Soak marigold flowers in water and boil it to get a yellow colored solution.
Brown Katha, tea, and coffee Katha which is used in paan, when mixed with water will give a brownish color. Boil tea or coffee leaves in water, cool and use.
Liquid Yellow Pomegranate peels and water Soak the pomegranate peels overnight in water and yellow color is ready to be splashed.

Segregation of Waste

Household waste should be separated daily into different bags – wet (biodegradable which gets restored to the land) and dry (non biodegradable that needs to be recycled as they do not degrade and therefore do harm to the land), which should be disposed of separately. One should also keep a bin for toxic wastes. Waste can be segregated as follows:

Seggregation of WasteBio degradable Waste: includes organic waste, e.g. kitchen waste, leftover food stuff, vegetables, fruits, flowers, leaves from the garden. This should be put in a compost pit and the compost could be used as manure in the garden.

Non Bio Degradable Waste can be further segregated into:

  • Recyclable waste: plastics, paper, glass, metal, etc.
  • Toxic waste: old medicines, paints, chemicals, bulbs, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries; shoe polish should be disposed off as laid down by the local authority.

Composting

CompostingCompost also known as brown manure, is the aerobically decomposed remnants of organic matter. It is used in landscaping, horticulture and agriculture as a soil conditioner and fertilizer.

Do you know you can make this compost yourself by using the organic waste you generate at home or school? Most of the waste we generate, ends-up in landfills which leads to methane gas emission. This is one of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) which leads to global warming. This way you will not only reduce pressure on landfills but also reduce the GHG emissions. Let's make our environment clean and green by following the simple steps:

Step-by-step method of composting

Step 1: Find the right site

The first step to successful composting is good placing of your bin/pit. Place the bin or make the pit on a level, well drained soil / grass for good drainage. The site should be in a partially warm but in shaded place. Also while selecting place, see you can easily add ingredients to the bin and get the compost out.

The size of the pit/bin can be 2ft x 4ft x 3ft for an average 2-3 kg waste per day. In case a brick structure is being prepared, the dimensions can remain the same, layer of flat bricks can make the base. A brick wall one and a half feet high can be prepared around the plan layout.

Please make sure that while making the wall one must provide small openings in the wall to allow free movement of air.

Step 2: Add the right ingredients

The base of the pit must be covered with dry leaves and small twigs. Cow dung and garden soil makes the next layer. Then goes the biodegradable waste. The microorganisms that recycle leaves and other plant parts need an even mix of brown stuff and green stuff to munch on. They also need air and water to live and work.

Compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work
Good things you can compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, egg shells, teabags, grass cuttings. These are considered “greens”. Other things you can compost include waste paper and fallen leaves. These are considered “browns” and rot slower than the greens.

Certain things should never be placed in your bin/pit
No cooked vegetables, no meat, no dairy products, or diseased plants. Putting these items in your bin can encourage unwanted pests and can also create odour. Brown stuff is high in the element carbon. Green stuff is high in the element nitrogen.

After 3 to 4 days, cover the waste with a thin layer of soil.

Step 3: Making good compost

The key to good compost is getting the mixture right. You need to keep your green and brown materials properly balanced. If your compost is too wet, add more browns and if it is too dry add some greens. Making sure there is enough air in the mixture is also important, air can be added by mixing the contents. Every 15 days, you could mix the ingredients. It is important that each layer gets a good sprinkling of water to wet the ingredients. It is important to wet each layer as you build it.

Ready for use

After 40-50 days your compost will be ready to use. Finished compost is a dark brown, almost black soil-like layer that you'll find at the bottom of your bin. The same could be sieved and stored in air tight bags for use in potted plants, school garden.

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