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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Indian Festivals and occassions > How to Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

How to Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Ganesh Chaturthi

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 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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Rajesh.9 years ago
Of late Ganesh Cahturthi is being mocked in the name of green ganesha... But in fact it a water cleansing drive... you can find it in detail over here
Sumesh.10 years ago
very good article. Celebrating Ganesh chaturthi in the right spirit is more important. thanks for posting such wonderful article.
Gina Davis
Gina Davis.10 years ago
I find this article really very informative. this is the best way to create awareness. I think we should celebrate Ganpati in an eco-friendly manner.
Manyata.10 years ago
very nice article.....We should all pledge to have eco-friendly Ganesha so as to prevent polluting the water bodies. this is the least we can do for our future generation.
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