With awareness about the protection of the environment growing among the public, there is a move towards celebrating a green Ganesh Chaturthi. There can hardly be anyone in India who doesn’t know Lord Ganesha. One can find various forms of him as idols in thousands of temples across the country. He is worshipped as the god of all beginnings. He is known as the destroyer of all obstacles and hence given first place in any ceremony. His birth or appearance on the earth to give darshan to his devotees is celebrated as Ganesh Chathurthi.
Importance Of Ganesh Chathurthi
Ganesh Chathurthi is a 10-day festival celebrated across most of India. The festivities start on the fourth day of the new moon in the Bhadrapada month as per the Indian calendar. It falls during the month of August or September. Large idols of Ganesha are placed in pandals erected at various locations in every Indian city. On the 10th day, these idols are immersed in the sea or river. Understanding the damage these idols could cause to the water bodies, more people opt for an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi celebration.
Mumbai, the financial capital of India, celebrates the occasion on a grand scale. Many companies and celebrities erect huge Ganesha idols at important city landmarks and offer prasad to thousands of people every day. The festival offers employment to many people who create idols in various novel ways. One can see Ganesha portrayed in numerous ways during the festival. The construction of pandals also gives work to a lot of people. To celebrate a sustainable Ganesh Chaturthi, those making the idols are looking at materials that will not harm the environment.
It is not just the idols that can cause damage to the environment. A large number of plastic flowers and decoration materials are used to make the pandals look beautiful. A large quantity of rangoli is also used for drawing attractive and colorful patterns in front of the pandals. All these also add to the damage to the surroundings. Lighting these pandals result in the consumption of a large quantity of electricity. This can also result in further damage to our earth. It is in our hands to celebrate a zero-waste Ganesh Chaturthi and save the earth for future generations.
So, what are the ways to celebrate the festival in the same grand manner without causing damage to our ecosystem?
Ten Ways To Celebrate A Green Ganesh Chaturthi
1. Lord Ganesha Made of Clay
One of the main pollutants from this festival is the material used for making the Ganesha idols. One can find idols made of plaster of Paris, thermocol, or even plastic. All these are non-biodegradable and can cause great damage to the ecosystem. Once immersed in water, these materials don’t degrade and can harm aquatic life greatly. To ensure a pollution-free Ganesha festival, one can opt to get idols made from unbaked clay. This will readily dissolve in water.
2. A Seed Ganesha Idol
Lord Ganesha’s stomach is filled with seeds of vegetables, fruits, or plants to make the surroundings greener after the immersion is done. The seeds placed inside the idol grow and make the environment greener. The idols we buy at our houses can also cause damage to the ecosystem, even if they are small in size. It is because the number of idols immersed on this day is enormous. One must opt for alternate materials for making the idols. Models made of clay that contain plant seeds are becoming very popular nowadays. One can place them in a pot and water them daily. The seeds will grow into plants making yours a truly green Ganesh Chaturthi.
3. Use Natural Colours on Lord Ganesha
Paints are highly polluting. They don’t dissolve in water and can prove to be highly dangerous for water creatures. One must avoid coloring the idols with paint. The normal paints have a lot of chemicals in them that don’t dissolve when the idol is immersed. Glitter, silver, & gold paint should not be used as they contain a high quantity of lead, chromium, and barium which are harmful to the environment. There are various natural coloring materials available in the market. One can even make some of these colors at home using plants and flowers. Make yours an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi this year with these natural colors.
For every Ganesha idol immersed in water, approximately 16gms lead enters the water stream. The lead content in the gold paint is 15,964 Parts Per Million (ppm) while gold glitter has 8,488 ppm of lead. Silver glitter paint had 2,732 ppm of lead. Source: Think Before You Paint Ganesha Idols. Thus, Herbal paints or unpainted Ganesha Idols are the best for celebrating an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi.
4. One Ganesha Idol Per Household
People tend to buy large idols as a show of their wealth. One must avoid this as they cause more damage and are difficult to immerse at home. Apartment groups and societies can reduce the number and size of Ganesha idols. Instead of having one for each home, they can have one common Ganesha idol placed in the compound. You can celebrate a sustainable Ganesh Chaturthi by adopting this method.
5. Biodegradable Materials to Decorate The Idol
A lot of plastic is used for decorating the pandals. This will add to the non-biodegradable waste once the festivities are over. It is wise to use natural fresh flowers and other materials to decorate the pandals. You will greatly contribute to a zero-waste Ganesh Chaturthi in this way.
Decorate Your homes with fresh flowers from Flowers ‘N’ Fruits and celebrate a green Ganesh Chaturthi this year. Make this into a ritual with our plethora of flowers. We offer a wide range of colors that suit your every need. If you need a custom decoration for your home, office, or banquet, contact us through email or just text us on Whatsapp and we’ll make it happen for you.
6. Reduce Consumption Of Electricity – Celebrate a Green Ganesh Chaturthi
Reducing the consumption of electricity is a great way to save the environment. Ganesha pandals are usually decorated with a lot of electric lamps. Loud music is played all throughout the day at these pandals. The use of CFL bulbs can reduce power consumption to a large extent. It is also good to play music only during selected hours to reduce the use of electricity. It is an excellent way to celebrate a pollution-free event.
7. Immerse Idols at Home to Have a Sustainable Ganesh Chaturthi
It is not necessary that all households take the idols to the sea or river for immersion. Using smaller idols will make it easy for immersion at home itself. If the idols are made of clay with seeds inside, they can be placed in a pot and immersed till the clay is soft enough for the seeds to sprout. Celebrate a green Ganesh Chaturthi by growing new plants.
8. Immersion Tanks for A Green Ganesh Chaturthi
Societies with large-sized Ganesha idols can create a temporary immersion tank for the visarjan ceremony. It saves the public water bodies from getting polluted. It also avoids unwanted traffic jams on the roads that result from everyone going for immersion to the same place. Adopting this method can result in an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi.
9. Reduce Noise Pollution This Auspicious Festival
Noise is another dangerous outcome of Ganesh Chaturthi festivals. Most pandals insist on playing loud music throughout the day to attract people. One can play music at a low volume only during certain hours of the day. It will reduce noise as well as power consumption. In this way, you can contribute greatly to making this a pollution-free Ganesh Chaturthi.
10. Use Flowers & Plants to Decorate
There are many things used for decoration that one can reuse either for the next Ganesh Chaturthi or some other event. Use plants to make the decor livelier and greener. You can convert the flowers and other organic materials used for decoration to compost. Such a zero-waste Ganesh Chaturthi is a step towards ensuring a better future for our kids.
Get Ready to Celebrate This 2022 Ganesh Chaturti The Green Way!
While every religious festival is an occasion to celebrate, one must remember its impact on the environment. The usage of materials that are harmful to our surroundings must be avoided at any cost. This will help the future generation also enjoy life on this earth and celebrate every event with joy and happiness.