Simple ways to celebrate Ganesh Utsav in an eco-friendly way

Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, one of the important Hindu festivals celebrated throughout India with great devotion is soon approaching. People especially Hindus celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. Those who are keen to celebrate bring idols of Lord Ganesh to their homes or community or offices and worship the idol. The duration of this festival varies from 1 day to 11 days, depending on the place and tradition. With the Ganesh festival approaching you must be looking for options available in the market. Eco-friendly Ganesha idol is in high demand looking at the side effects caused by Ganesha idols made of POP or non-bio-degradable material. So here I’m sharing with you ways to celebrate Ganesh Utsav in an eco-friendly way.

Ganesh Chaturthi

As per the traditions and customs, Ganesh Chaturthi is a festival where the Ganesha idol is brought home to worship. On the last day of the festival, the idols are taken out in a colorful and musical procession and immersed traditionally in water.
This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Lord Ganesh is the symbol of wisdom, prosperity, and good fortune. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesh is known as “Vigna Harta” (one who removes obstacles) and “Buddhi Pradaayaka” (one who grants intelligence).

For many years we have been immersing the idols in water sources, without paying attention to the harm we were causing to our environment. The immersion in water sources causes harm to marine life because of the plaster of Paris and the toxic, non-biodegradable chemical colors of idols. In a bid to reduce the environmental damage, many devotees have begun installing Ganpati idols that are both innovative and eco-friendly. We need to take care that the glory of the festival stays intact and does not become a hazard to our nature and environment.

Simple ways to celebrate Ganesh Utsav in an eco-friendly way

Bio-degradable Ganesha idols

Stop buying Ganesha idols made of thermocol, or plaster of pairs. Instead, buy Ganesha idols made of bio-degradable materials like clay or paper mache. People are even making idols of turmeric, chocolate, coconut, sandalwood, Multani mitti, cow dung, and even alum too.

Check out these innovative Ganesha idols and get creative with your Ganesha idol.

A community effort

Ganesh Utsav is a community festival as popularised by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. We call it a sarvajanik(community) event, where everyone can come together to celebrate at one common point. As the word sarvajanik means, we should try to celebrate it at the community level, instead of having several individual idols in separate homes. Maratha Mitra Mandal and similar communities have been doing this event by joining hands for years.

Also, set a limit on the number of public pandals: Festivals help bring people together. So, instead of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi separately at different pandals, make one big pandal in your area for the entire neighborhood. Remember, more pandals mean more noise, garbage, and waste of electricity.

Opt for Short and sweet

Don’t buy too many huge idols. Big idols take up large space, and also consume more material for making. The festival seeks your emotions and feelings, not the size.

No noise pollution

The day of Ganesh visarjans can be loud and disruptive, which can negatively impact the elderly, pets, children, and local animals. Avoid playing loud and noisy music. Either play soft soothing instruments or turn down the volume of the music and song played at a commercial level from loudspeakers during the processions. Instead of large speakers, having people chant devotional songs and prayers can be beneficial and soothing too.

Ban plastic plates and glasses

In such public gatherings, a lot of delicious food and offering, prasad, fruits, and snacks, etc. served at pandals. Please ditch or skip the plastic and serve food on natural plates such as pattal or banana leaves instead. Please use cloth bags or reusable containers to carry prasad and other offerings.

Artificial immersion tank

Using rivers, ponds, lakes, or seas to immerse Ganesha idols can have detrimental effects on our environment. At the community level, a better option would be to use an artificial immersion tank to immerse the idol.

Conserve energy

We all love decoration, but putting on glaring lights and LED series can sometimes be a waste of energy, power, and money. Light them for a short period, not the whole day. Use CFL or use colored papers instead which can be pocket-friendly too. Earthen lamps can be lit during Ganesh Utsav too.

Use natural decorations

Another environment-friendly measure we can follow is using natural colors for rangoli and other decorations. Items like hennagulaal, and turmeric might land up giving an earthy feel to the setup as a whole. Even flowers such as magnolias, jasmine, and rose petals can make for beautiful rangoli.

Make people aware

It’s important to spread and share eco-friendly ways and options with people around us. Many people may not be aware of the harm to nature, by such celebrations and festivals. We can spread awareness about the rising levels of water, air, and noise pollution each year. 

Once again wishing you all a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi. I hope you are now ready to celebrate Ganesh Utsav in an eco-friendly way. Wishing you a very happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

In addition, check out some beautiful Ganesha festival pictures shared by my family and friends.
2019 Ganesha Glimpses
2018 Glimpses of Ganesha festival
2017 Ganesha Festival

To sum up, This post is part of my Earth series on Conscious living with sustainable practices, to spread more awareness. It’s Sustainable September, so join me for more such ways and tips and become part of my Conscious and sustainable living ideas. Visit my blog and make yourself conscious and aware of being more concerned for our environment, and alter your lifestyle. Let’s be conscious of our living and learn ways to conserve nature. Nurture The NatureDo check out my other posts on Sustainable Conscious living, a step towards a healthier planet. Which covers easy ways to save watersave energy, conservation at the home level, a little bit to heal our Mother Earth, and much more. This post is a part of Cause-a-Chatter by Blogchatter.

Being Eco-Friendly is not a choice, make it a habit.

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