Stores and online shopping portals across India are offering a slew of environment-friendly rakhis for the more than 60 crore Indians that celebrate Raksha Bandhan each year. Here are a few options:
Seed Rakhi: The seed rakhi, made organically by farmers using cotton with natural dyes, will ensure that a plant or tree will remind you of the love you share forever. Plant the rakhi after Raksha Bandhan is over, water it and watch it blossom into new life. Most of the rakhis come attached with a seed paper card. The rakhi comes in a beautiful box made out of waste cotton and is handcrafted to perfection.
Bamboo Rakhi: These rakhis use wafer thin bamboo shavings cut into stars, triangles and pyramids, among others, as a base for locally-sourced decoration material. Bamboo rakhis are usually manufactured by tribal people. A number of organisations working with tribal women have been exhibiting bamboo rakhis.
Paper Rakhi: In many schools, there are competitions for students to design rakhis from waste paper. Apart from fostering creativity, this practice teaches children about protecting natural resources. Anyone can make a paper rakhi at home, and one can even paste paper cuttings of animals or other designs to the rakhi.
Even commercially available paper rakhis are designed in such a way that they can be recycled.
Clay Rakhi: These are plantable clay rakhis with seeds of Vinca Rosea, also known as Sadabahar, a pink coloured flowering plant that blooms throughout the year. These rakhis are handmade and hand painted using eco-friendly paints and alta (red dye). This rakhi needs to be planted the same day or the day after it is worn, because it is not baked and is fragile in nature. These rakhis come in a corrugated box sealed with paper tape. The attempt is to make the festival waste-free. In most cases, the rakhi is packed in a box made of waste cotton and placed on a bed of coconut fibre.
NGO showcases handmade products for Raksha Bandhan
The Pragati Foundation, an NGO that helps unemployed women and youths get sustainable livelihoods, is displaying a range of handmade products for Raksha Bandhan at multiple outlets of restaurant Upsouth.
The products include rakhis, earrings, necklaces, toran, keychains, dolls and fabric bags.
The products have been made by women from slums in Pune and will be available at the restaurant’s Wakad, Aundh and Viman Nagar branches till August 15.