How to Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

Environment Friendly Living

How to Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

“The nature of our future depends on the future of our nature.” This Ganesh Chaturthi, let’s all pledge to celebrate the great Elephant God in an eco-friendly manner. Read on to know how you can celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner. Lord Ganesha is considered to be the God of success and prosperity. Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with great pomp and zeal especially in Maharashtra. People enthusiastically participate in the celebrations. Devotees bring home an idol of Lord Ganesha and worship it for a period of 10 days or less. People also erect pandals in their housing societies or neighbourhood areas and keep Ganpati statues and idols for public Darshan following which they immerse the idol in water during Ganesh Visarjan. Some Ganesh Chaturthi practices are harming the Environment. However, after the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and immersion of the idols; the seas, rivers and lakes are often left dirty and polluted, harming all water creatures and mother earth. These are some of the ways by which the celebrations, immersions and rituals are causing harm to the environment. Plaster of Paris (POP) Idols Plaster of Paris (POP) is one of the most common elements used to create the Ganesha idols. POP is not a natural occurring material; hence it takes a lot of time to dissolve. It is made from gypsum. It can even take several months or years to dissolve completely. Chemical Dyes and Colours The chemical dyes used to paint these idols are also harmful as they result in water pollution. The chemical paints on the idols contain poisonous and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, etc. which enter the water as the idol dissolves and harm water life. Water Contamination After the immersions, water bodies such as oceans, seas, lakes, etc. are left highly contaminated. Along with the idols, several other items are immersed in the water such as banana leaves and coconuts making the water dirty and impure. Items used for decoration are also dumped into the seas and other water bodies. Reduced Oxygen Levels The toxic and heavy paints from the idols form a layer on the water surface which increases acidic content of the water and deprives fish and other aquatic animals of oxygen. That is why, many fish are found dead and floating on the surface of the water on the day after Ganesh immersions. Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an Eco-friendly Manner. To avoid causing harm to the environment, here are a few tips and precautions you can take to ensure that celebrations are eco-friendly: Buy Eco-friendly Ganesha Idols One can buy eco-friendly idols for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. Clay idols dissolve immediately in the water, greatly lessening or completely preventing water pollution. You can immerse it in a bucket at home also. If you are keen on buying POP idols, then you sprinkle a few drops of water symbolically and give it for recycling. Many people also use metal, stone or wooden idols and symbolically immerse it by placing it under water and then removing it and reusing the same idol every year. Ganesh idols made from mud are also eco friendly and immerse easily in water. Some other Tips for Eco-friendly CelebrationsAvoid using chemical paints containing harmful colours and dyes. Instead use natural colours such as turmeric, gheru, multani mitti, etc. for idols.Don’t use materials like thermocol or plastics for decoration which are not degradable and which do not dissolve in water. Instead you can use biodegradable items like plain paper or colored paper for decorations.Remove flowers, garlands, clothes, plastic and other decoration items before immersing the idols. Distribute food items like coconuts and fruits to the poor. Make a compost of all the biodegradable items including flowers, etc. Flowers can be mixed with the soil which will help the plants in your garden. All devotees of Lord Ganesha can continue celebrating the festival but they should take care to not affect the environment adversely. Take safety precautions to avoid freak accidents during the processions or at the sea-shore. Avoid or minimize use of loudspeakers because it causes noise pollution. Celebrating the Ganesh festival is not about how big your idol is or how expensive your decoration is. It is not about a display of wealth or showing off. Rather, it is about the religious sentiment, emotion and feelings in your heart. One should celebrate and enjoy the festival without causing damage to the environment. How do you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? What can you do to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner? How can you teach your child to care for the environment? Discuss here.


“The nature of our
future depends on the future of our
nature.”


This Ganesh Chaturthi, let’s all pledge to celebrate
the great Elephant God in an eco-friendly manner. Read on to know how
you can
celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly
manner.

Lord Ganesha is
considered to be the God of success and prosperity. Ganesh Chaturthi is
celebrated with great pomp and zeal especially in Maharashtra. People
enthusiastically participate in the celebrations. Devotees bring home an
idol
of

Lord
Ganesha

and worship it for a period of 10 days
or less. People also erect pandals in their housing societies or
neighbourhood
areas and keep Ganpati statues and idols for public Darshan following
which
they immerse the idol in water during Ganesh Visarjan.

Some Ganesh Chaturthi practices are
harming the Environment.

However, after the
celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and immersion of the idols; the seas,
rivers
and lakes are often left dirty and polluted, harming all water creatures
and
mother earth. These are some of the ways by which the celebrations,
immersions
and rituals are causing harm to the environment.

Plaster of Paris (POP)
Idols

Plaster of Paris (POP)
is one of the most common elements used to create the Ganesha idols. POP
is not
a natural occurring material; hence it takes a lot of time to dissolve.
It is
made from gypsum. It can even take several months or years to dissolve
completely.

Chemical Dyes and
Colours

The chemical dyes used
to paint these idols are also harmful as they result in

water
pollution

. The chemical paints on the idols
contain poisonous and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, etc. which
enter the
water as the idol dissolves and harm water
life.

Water
Contamination

After the immersions,
water bodies such as oceans, seas, lakes, etc. are left highly
contaminated.
Along with the idols, several other items are immersed in the water such
as
banana leaves and coconuts making the water dirty and impure. Items used
for
decoration are also dumped into the seas and other water bodies.

Reduced Oxygen Levels

The toxic and heavy
paints from the idols form a layer on the water surface which increases
acidic content
of the water and deprives fish and other aquatic animals of oxygen. That
is
why, many fish are found dead and floating on the surface of the water
on the
day after Ganesh immersions.

Celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an
Eco-friendly Manner.

To

avoid causing harm to
the environment

, here are a few tips
and precautions you can take to ensure that celebrations are
eco-friendly:

Buy Eco-friendly Ganesha
Idols

One can buy

eco-friendly
idols

for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. Clay
idols dissolve immediately in the water, greatly lessening or completely
preventing water pollution. You can immerse it in a bucket at home also.
If you
are keen on buying POP idols, then you sprinkle a few drops of water
symbolically and give it for recycling. Many people also use metal,
stone or
wooden idols and symbolically immerse it by placing it under water and
then
removing it and reusing the same idol every year. Ganesh idols made from
mud
are also eco friendly and immerse easily in water.

Some other Tips for Eco-friendly
Celebrations

  • Avoid using chemical paints containing harmful colours
    and dyes. Instead use natural colours such as turmeric, gheru, multani
    mitti, etc. for
    idols.

  • Don’t use materials like thermocol or plastics for
    decoration which are not degradable and which do not dissolve in water.
    Instead you can use biodegradable items like plain paper or colored
    paper for
    decorations.

  • Remove flowers, garlands, clothes, plastic and other
    decoration items before immersing the idols. Distribute food items like
    coconuts and fruits to the poor.

  • Make a compost of all the biodegradable items including
    flowers, etc. Flowers can be mixed with the soil which will help the
    plants in your
    garden.

All devotees of Lord Ganesha can
continue celebrating the festival but they should take care to not
affect the
environment adversely. Take

safety
precautions

to avoid freak accidents during the processions or at
the sea-shore. Avoid or minimize use of loudspeakers because it causes
noise
pollution. Celebrating the Ganesh festival is not about how big your
idol is or
how expensive your decoration is. It is not about a display of wealth or
showing off. Rather, it is about the religious sentiment, emotion and
feelings
in your heart. One should celebrate and enjoy the festival without
causing
damage to the environment.


How do you celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi? What
can you
do to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner? How can you
teach
your child to care for the environment?

Discuss
here.



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