Festivals are one of the main specialties of India. We celebrate all the frills and grand gestures. Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesha Habba is one such festival where every one of us come together and celebrate with love and happiness. From savories to lights and décor to outfits, Ganesh Chaturthi has everyone up on their feet and ready for the fun. Families in India usually get together to celebrate festivals. It is a great time to experience and spread the joy of festivities.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated to welcome Lord Ganesha on Earth. According to ancient stories, he came to the planet to look for his mother, Goddess Parvati/Gowri. His big welcome is celebrated across the country in various ways.
Many a time, in the joy of festivity we tend to forget about the harm we do to the plant. Every year Ganesh Chaturthi leaves behind tonnes of garbage behind eventually polluting water bodies and burdening landfills.
With this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi right around the corner, we have a few tips and suggestions for you to make this festival green and a clean one. While it is necessary to follow the traditions and celebrate the festival, it is also important to respect the planet and do no harm.
Go green on the Idols
Idols are a main part of the festival and one should be very careful in choosing them. Most of the idols available in the market are made up of Plaster of Paris, which is a form of quick-setting gypsum, which floats on water and pollutes the water bodies. Colorful idols have several coatings of paint on them that are comprised of toxic chemicals. Switch to idols that are made up of clay and have a minimal amount or no paint at all. These idols are eco-friendly and do not harm the environment at all.
There are several variations in the eco-friendly idols. These days, the eco-friendly idols have seeds of various plants in them. There are also huge idols made of fish food; when immersed, it feeds hundreds of fishes in the lake. Switching to idols like this would be a great way to save the destruction of the planet and its water bodies from harmful chemicals.
Sometimes we go overboard with our festive decorations. This festive season, stop purchasing single-use decors made of Plastic or Styrofoam. Not only are they a waste of money and harm the environment, but also are entirely unnecessary. Decorations made of flowers, bamboo leaves, and banana leaves give the festival an authentic and divine look. These decorations cost way less than the plastic ones and are easy on the environment.
There several ways to decorate the mandap or the house using simple things like bamboo leaflets and flowers. They are green and more traditional.
Food is the highlight of any celebration, especially in festivals. Food is always the main part of festivals and celebrations. They have the power to set the Happy Mood instantly on. A good meal at a festival with all the special family dishes brings you and your family closer. One must ensure to cook just how much is needed.
People tend to waste excess food during festivals; to avoid this, either cook how much is required or donate the extra food. Your excess food would make a couple of less-privileged people very happy. A good deed on a festival would make your prayers come true!
This is the most awaited part of the festival celebration. This ritual is a form of bidding farewell to Lord Ganesh and Goddess Parwati. Generally, the idols are either immersed in water bodies like lakes, rivers, or sometimes even seas. This is harmful to all the water bodies, especially if the idols were painted. It pollutes the aquatic ecosystem and hampers the marine life. The best way to stop harming the environment would be to switch to paint-free idols.
If you have bought a medium to small-sized idols, it is best to perform this ritual at your houses. The best way would be to immerse the idol in a pot or a bucket according to the size. You can always add in more soil and sand and plant a sapling. This way, you could ensure zero harm to the environment and make your home greener.
These are just a few simple ways to ensure a sustainable and zero-waste Ganesh Chaturthi. Simple acts of kindness like this could inspire many and make a difference. Pledge to go green this Ganesh Chaturthi, give back to the environment, and save the planet. After all, our Lord Ganesha would never like us polluting the environment.
Finally, Wishing you a very Happy and Eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi!