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Celebrate Eco-friendly Ganesha Festival

Celebrate Eco-friendly Ganesha Festival in a Creative Manner This 2017

Because of environment-harming materials such as Plaster of Paris, thermocol etc, used in making Ganesha idols, the same do not decompose and then create environmental hazards on immersion. The water bodies get clogged during idol immersion and lead to further dangers because of chemical paints and other toxic materials.
However, there is a growing awareness among people about celebrating eco-friendly Ganesha festival is the need of the hour to combat environmental pollution otherwise caused because of Ganpati idols made from chemical and toxic non-biodegradable materials.
The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samnvay Samiti (BSGSS), which is the umbrella body that issues permissions to Ganesh Pandals in Mumbai, has recognized that there has been 100% rise in demand for shadu or clay idols this year. Here we list eco-friendly ways you can celebrate Ganpati festival.

5 Ways You Can Celebrate Environmental Friendly Ganapati Festival
1. Limit the number and size of the Ganesh Idols in the community. Go for a small or medium sized idol. If there is less number of idols in larger community, then the accumulation of waste in the environment during idol immersion will also decrease.
2. Say no to idols made from Plaster of Paris, chemicals, plastic, thermocol, but choose Ganesha Idols made from earthen clays and other biodegradable and natural ingredients.
3. Go for natural and biodegradable colours such as Henna, turmeric, rice powder etc for Rangolis. Instead of chemical gulal, opt for natural and fragrant flowers.
4. Collect natural offerings such as flowers, leftover fruits and fruit skins, garlands etc and put those in community built compost pit that can be utilized to fertilize a garden.
5. Reduce reuse and recycle- stick to this mantra as much as possible. Reuse decorative items, pandal essentials etc for the next year than getting rid of those and buying anew next time.
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5 Innovative Ideas for Making Eco-friendly Ganesha Idols
1. There are Ganpati idols made from organic fertilizers and red soil containing plant seeds. During immersion, the idol can be placed in pot and watered until it dissolves, then the seeds after germination give away to new plants.
2. Fish food Ganesha idols have gained popularity past two to three years. Here, the idols made from soil or wet clay contains fish food or the idol is completely made of fish food, so that when immersed in water bodies, these help feed the fishes.
3. Gobar and cow-dung has also been used to create Ganpati idols. It is in the interest to preserve the environment as when immersed in lakes or in forest areas, these can later act as manure or become part of Mother Nature.
4. Chocolate Ganesha is not only famous among kids, but a great way to celebrate Ganpati festivals in households. The idols are then immersed in milk than in water and chocolate milk is distributed to underprivileged.
5. Another innovation is making of Ganesh idols from materials that purify water, such as alum. Not every manufacturer makes such idols, but you can get one customized for this year.
Pandals and Ganesha Decorative Items
• Decoration around Ganpati idol often involves depiction of forests, caves, mountains etc. These decorative items can be made of natural materials such as woods, leaves, woolen and cotton cloth, which do not harm the environment.
• Pandals can be made from natural materials as well.
• Similarly, food items can be served on plates made from paper and leaves than plastic and other non-biodegradable materials.
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Use Resources Wisely
• There is often a lot of food wastage during festivals. Try to cook food that is consumable completely by guests.
• If there is excess food, distribute it among people than throwing away.
• Similarly, water is highly misused in Ganesh festivals, thus use water meagrely whenever needed.

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Keep Noise Pollution in Check
• Celebration during Ganpati Pooja festival cannot be imagined without playing of Dhols and other instruments.
• However, to keep noise pollution in check, low sound making instruments such as tabla, mridangam etc.
• Music or songs when played must be in controllable volume.

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How to Save Electricity?
• Switch off decorative lights around the idol when not in use.
• You can switch these on during Aarti and celebrations instead.
• It will help consume less electricity and in turn save power.
• Choose compact fluorescent lights over traditional bulbs.

All devotees can continue to celebrate the festival of Lord Ganesha but must do so in a way so that the festival celebration does not affect the environment adversely. It is important to care for Mother Nature and our surroundings, thus enjoy eco-friendly Ganesha festival this year and every year.

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