Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most celebrated festivals in the country, is around the corner. It is celebrated with utmost devotion, happiness and joy. Right from handpicking the divine Lord Ganesha idols to choosing the most beautiful decor items, pooja room essentials, and preparing delicious modaks, everything about the festival is truly exciting. But with all the frills and fancies comes the duty of performing the visarjan ceremony in a responsible manner.
Someone has rightly said that the nature of our future is dependent on the future of mother nature. Thus, calling for the most responsible way of celebrating the festival is "The Green Ganesh Chaturthi".
Here's how you can go green on this Ganesh Chaturthi 2023:
Eco Friendly Idols:
This is the very first step towards celebrating the Green Ganesh Chaturthi. The traditional Ganesha idols were 100% eco friendly Ganesha idols and did not possess any chemicals for artificial elements that caused water pollution or harm to the water creatures. But today, Ganesha idols made from plaster of Paris are being sold widely. These idols contain phosphorus, sulphur, magnesium, and gypsum, which are highly dangerous to the water animals, and they also contaminate the water.
The colours used to decorate these idols are made up of carbon, cadmium, arsenic like chemicals, which, when immersed in the water, can kill fishes and other water animals. These are also dangerous to human beings as they can cause circulatory nervous and digestive disorders. Hence, always go for eco friendly Ganesha idols that are made from naturally available materials such as husk, clay, paper, tree leaves, and so on.
Serving the Prasad is an integral part of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. Since most of the families invite all of their friends, relatives, and close ones to the puja celebration, they prefer use-and-throw cutleries to avoid the pain of washing utensils. Unfortunately, most of these are made from plastic, styrofoam and non-biodegradable materials, which cause harm to the environment.
Hence always serve the Prasad in compostable cutleries such as banana leaves, areca nut plates, and donnais'. These are completely natural and are 100 percent biodegradable.
It is always a great idea to decorate your Ganesha idol and the puja room setup using naturally available flowers and other accessories instead of shiny ribbons, beads, plastic flowers that often end up as rejected waste materials.
Choose naturally available flowers, mango leaves, Tulsi, Diyas, haldi and kumkum, betel nuts, fruits for pooja, and decorations. Also, remember to carry a reusable bag for shopping and avoid plastic packages, bags, and other items.
As mentioned earlier, this is one of the most important ceremonies of the festival and has to be performed responsibly. While performing the visarjan ceremony, always ensure your eco friendly Ganesha idols are immersed in a bucket of water or large drums so that the leftover mud can benefit the plants later.
If you stay in a large community, choose to go to the government-authorized immersion ponds. Do not simply immerse the idols at any of the nearby water bodies. This is because if the idols are coloured with synthetic colours, they can cause harm to the water creatures as well as pollute the water bodies.
Moreover, the harmful synthetic colours do not degrade and mix with water bodies and other sources that can have an adverse impact on human health. Hence to avoid such danger, always pick naturally coloured idols.
Although this auspicious festival is celebrated in a grand manner, it is unnecessary to burst crackers or play with gulal. Bursting crackers causes not just air pollution but also noise pollution and harms the ozone layer. It also causes damage to animals, especially dogs.
Follow these simple steps and Go Green this Ganesh Chaturthi; just the right way..!