While world leaders meet every year to discuss climate change and about how they can run their countries by causing least harm to the environment, why not we do our bit? Let’s start with one of the most awaited festivals of the year, Ganesh Chaturthi! The festival is just round the corner and while you, your friends and family prepare to welcome him to your homes, here are some tips for an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi!
Begin with Ganesha himself: At the end of the festival, many rivers, lakes and even seas get clogged with plaster of paris (pop) Ganeshas. This chemical is toxic for fish and other living organisms under water. Whereas, Ganeshas made of clay or mud dissolve easily in the water and don’t leave behind any chemical waste. If you want to give him some colour, use water based paints or water colours. When you immerse your eco-friendly Ganesha, you will do so knowing that you are keeping alive creatures under water!
Ladoos and Modaks: It is that time of the year, when you can give a break to chocolates and sweets from shops and try some home-made ladoos and Ganesha’s favourite Modak. Besan and Rava ladoos are sweets which no chocolate can match ! Just like your momos, Modaks are steamed dumplings but instead of vegetables, they will be stuffed with jaggery and grated coconut-It is Ganesha’s favourite for a reason!
DIY Eco-friendly Decorations: Try and make the decorations, you will avoid buying plastic automatically! You can make fans in the form of Chakras or wheels with colourful paper and placed it behind Ganesha. You can also use LED lights to him up during the nights. As a backdrop you can use a beautiful saree or bedsheet. If you are looking for something more dramatic, hay stack or bamboo sticks and leaves of plants which can sustain themselves indoor for a few days, should work! Thermocol too, is a good material to use for decorations, if you are someone who is creative and skilled with it!
Visarjan/Immersion: You must make sure you send off Ganesha with as much love and respect as you brought him home with. Avoid throwing too many flowers or other material into the rivers/lakes while immersing your Ganesha. Do not get tempted by others and burst crackers or play very loud music. Any kind of pollution brings down the festival spirit. Let us make Ganesha’s stay a clean, safe and happy one, so that he visits us again next year!