Soon numerous nooks and corners of India will come alive; the streets will echo with chants of “Ganpati Bappa Morya” as Ganesh Chaturthi is around the corner. The preparations of Lord Ganesha’s homecoming have already begun. The festival welcomes the arrival of the Lord from Kailash Parvat with her mother, Goddess Parvati.

This popular festival in India lasts for ten days, during which countless devotees bring home idols of Lord Ganesha that are then pampered and preened. Chanting of Vedic hymns, observing vrata (fasting), preparing Ganesh’s favorite sweet modaka, make up for a grandiose celebration. Then, on the tenth day, Lord Ganesha’s idol is brought out amidst massive public processions and is finally immersed in a water body.  

As much as we love to partake in this festivity of our favourite Hindu God, we need to not only ensure that the festival is celebrated with great zeal but also the environmental safety is also taken care of. So, let’s check out sustainable ways in which we can celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi this 2021.

Do-It-Yourself Ganesha’s Idol

As go green is the new mantra, the pledge is to say a big no to idols made using toxic substances like plaster of paris, thermocol, and plastic. Crafting yourself an idol of Ganesha using natural clay would be a great thing to do. Henna, turmeric, mulatni mitti, and organic gulaal lend an earthy feel and serve as perfect paints. Creating a biodegradable effigy that dissolves quickly in water without leaving any toxins behind is the idea. Making a masterpiece at home by yourself is sure to make you feel achieved.

Lower The Power Mode

We all know that the festivals are about adding a bit of spark to brighten our homes, at the same time saving electricity is also necessary. Instead of using traditional light bulbs, we can use organic diyas, earthen lamps, and tea-light candles. These sources of light not only limit the use of electricity but also spread positive vibes. In case artificial lights are put to use, instead of turning them on for the entire day, they can be turned on only at the time of pooja or aarti.

Decorate In An Eco-Friendly Way

Dodge huge pandals and decorate your pooja room in an eco-friendly manner. Pluck fresh flowers like roses or marigolds from your garden and sit with your friends and folks, with a needle & thread making as many garlands as you like. Rather than buying a bandanvaar (lanes of festoons) which is usually made of plastic, make one at home with lush green mango leaves. Deck-up Ganpati’s idol with paper-cut-out jewelry rather than opting for trinkets made up of hazardous non biodegradable material.  An eco-friendly decoration is sure to woo the onlookers completely.

Artificial Immersion Tanks

Ganpati Visarjan is the most significant ritual duly performed by each individual taking part in the festival. But this doesn’t give us the right to pollute lakes or other natural water bodies. Break the habit of immersing the idol in water bodies as there are times when it does not dissolve properly, leaving behind insoluble pollutants. The noxious residue remains in the water, causing immense harm to marine life. Celebrating at the cost of harming the environment is not what we intend to do. Hold a visarjan at home by submerging a biodegradable Ganesha’s idol in a bucket full of fresh water and later use it in watering plants.

Keep It Low Key

Having multiple loudspeakers set in and around your locale is only going to lead to sound pollution. The best would be to gather peacefully with a small bunch of people at your home. Sing in chorus hymns and prayers you all wish to offer to Lord Ganesha. A low-key in-house celebration is far better than a humongous gaiety.

Spread Awareness 

The most significant part is to make people aware of the positive impacts of an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. Spread the word across your locality & young kids and encourage them to adopt environment-friendly methods while keeping up with the festive cheer. Educate them about the 3Rs, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  Mutually dig up a compost pit in your community and come together to collect the biodegradable waste and put it in the compost pit.  The organic waste generated would serve as fertilizers for nearby parks and gardens.

This year observe Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most popular festivals of India, in a brand new way. Let’s become responsible and have a thoughtful approach towards healing the planet and making it a better place to live. Opting for eco-friendly ways will reduce the number of resources required and lessen the burden on the environment.  

Our traditions are remarkable, and so are the emotions attached to them. However, we must also act upon ways not to hamper the surroundings while we immerse ourselves in the spirit of festivity.

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