The Ganapati Mahotsav is one of the most popular festivals celebrated across the nation, and when it comes to Maharashtra, its glee is simply unparalleled. The 10-day celebration is incomplete without mouth-watering delicacies (modaks), dance, shlokas, mantras, ecstasy and of course bringing home and the final immersion of the Elephant-headed God himself.
Every year while we are busy with the festivities of bringing home our beloved Bappa and decorating every nook of our home, quite often we overlook the fact that our gaiety is causing harm to our environment. So, this year let’s shook up our eco-consciousness and put our sincere efforts to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in the most eco-friendly way. Here’s how you can go about it:
1. Let’s Start With Eco-Friendly Ganesha Idols
Bringing home a Ganesha idol that is made up of biodegradable materials like clay and papier mache can be a great start towards environment-friendly Ganeshotsav.
Also, those with an artistic inclination can find colourful clay and other craft materials using Shopclues Offers and learn to make clay Ganapati idols at a nearby workshop.
2. Watering Plants:
Within a few days of immersion, the eco-friendly clay idols dissolve completely in water and this water can be easily poured on your plants. Great way to give back to the nature, right?
3. Chocolate Ganpati
Rintu Rathod, a designer baker, makes edible Ganpati idols with chocolate and uses milk instead of water for the visarjana. The best part about this visarjana is that the chocolate milk is distributed to over a thousand underprivileged kids. Chocolate cannot be used in a better way, hope you will agree. What better way to please HIM than feeding a few hungry kids.
4. Scale it down
It’s true that we are taken aback by the glamorous themes and the mammoth size of the Ganapati idols we see at the famous pandals, but maybe it’s time that we scale down the size of Ganpati idols we bring home. Smaller sized idols require less water and the immersion can be easily carried out in a bucket, tub or artificial pond.
5. Fish-Friendly Way
Have you heard about fish-friendly Ganapati idols? Yes, they do exist and are gaining popularity with each passing year. Made from 100% natural clay and colours (from turmeric and sandalwood), these idols come packed with fish food so that our aquatic friends too would enjoy a feast on the Ganapati.
Always keep in mind that thermocol, plastics, chemical colours and other such materials are not good for our fishes and other aquatic animals.
6. Tree Ganesha
The eco-friendly Tree Ganesha is one of the best ways to give back some goodness to Mother Nature. The idols are made entirely from clay and plant seeds are placed inside.
The immersion (visarjan) of this idol is done in a pot and within a few days of immersion, the seeds start to spring. Isn’t that the best way to stay blessed?
7. Conserve Some Energy
Okay, you have decided to bring home only an eco-friendly Ganapati idol, but what about the other type of harms to the environment that you may be causing. To ensure that you are not contributing to the already high environmental hazards, limit or avoid the use of crackers, chemical colours and loudspeakers.
8. Make compost from flowers
If you keep Ganapati in your house, a number of people must be visiting your place each day and bring along flowers and fruits. Even if you distributed the fruits to some poor kids, you are still left with a heap of flowers and can’t think of a way to utilise them. Well, instead of throwing or immersing these flowers in a pond or sea at the time of visarjan, why not make some compost for your garden plants.
While these flowers are still fresh, you can also use them to make amazing floral rangolis that can add glamour to your Ganpati decoration.
9. Say No To Plaster of Paris (POP)
The first and foremost step towards celebrating an eco-friendly Ganapati is saying no to the idols made of Plaster of Paris (POP) which is nothing but ‘plaster of destruction’ for our environment. Do you know that they take months, sometimes even years to dissolve completely?
10. What About An Artificial Immersion Tank?
When you scale down the size of your Ganpati, you can consider artificial tanks, tubs or even buckets to immerse your Ganesha idol.
This Ganesh Utsav, let us pledge to celebrate the arrival of our beloved Bappa in the most eco-friendly way and contribute our bit towards saving our Mother Nature.