GaneshJi is worshipped not only during the ten days of Ganesh Chaturthi. People generally worship him every day before going to work or before beginning any new task. He is the God of success and prosperity. But, during Ganesh Chaturthi, people worship him even more with great zeal and enthusiasm. But, while celebrating this great auspicious festival, people forget that they are harming Mother Earth in many ways. Mother Nature gets affected adversely during this occasion. We need to take care that while worshipping, we do not cause harm to any other living creature - may it be humans, plants or animals.
Here are a few practices that you can adopt during this festival to have an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi.
Ganesh idols are made majorly of Plaster of Paris, which causes harm to water because it does not dissolve easily. It might take several months to dissolve in the water completely. Instead you can buy clay or mud idols that easily dissolve in water. Say no to Plaster of Paris, plastic and thermocol. Purchase idols made from natural biodegradable materials like unbaked clay, mud or coconut.
Also, the dyes and colours used to paint these idols are harmful to the environment. The chemical paints that are used include poisonous metals like lead and mercury. Instead, use natural colours like turmeric, multani mitti, etc.
SIZE OF IDOLS
People today have forgotten that Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival of worshipping Lord Ganesha with a pure heart. Thus, it isn't important how big or small or how costly an idol you buy. People have started showing off their status by buying huge expensive idols. Limit the size of the idol you buy to a maximum of 2 to 3 feet. You are not here to exhibit your idol, you are here to pray and perform the rituals correctly. Larger idols consume more material and also takes time to dissolve and also leads to transportation issues.
Avoid using materials like plastic and thermocol for decorating the pandal. After the celebrations, people get rid of the decoration by simply discarding it in the water or dumping it as garbage. Instead use coloured paper, cloth and wood for decoration. Also, use natural materials like gulaal, henna, turmeric and multani mitti for the rangoli.
The largest impact is seen on water bodies like seas, lakes and rivers, which get contaminated by the immersion of idols, decorative items, flowers, coconuts and other items. This pollutes the water which is used by humans too and also affects the life of organisms living in water. Thus, it is advisable to remove the flowers and decoration items before immersing the idols. Also, distribute the coconuts to the poor instead of immersing them in water.
The noise that is made during these celebrations cannot be neglected. People play loud music while bringing in GaneshJi to their homes and also during visarjan. There are many hospitals and old age homes that come on the way to visarjan. Avoid using loud music, which might cause noise pollution and affect the children and elderly aged people's hearing capacity. Also, avoid bursting firecrackers, which is responsible for noise as well as air pollution.
You are definitely allowed to celebrate the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi with great passion and energy but, you must not ignore the harm you might be causing to the environment. Enjoy the festival while respecting Mother Nature.
If you are looking for gifts that you can present to your near and dear ones on this auspicious occasion, you can find here some great gift items for Ganesh Chaturthi.