This festive season, ensure that you have a completely eco friendly Ganesh Chaturthi by going zero-plastic! Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the Indian festivals that is rooted in community and celebration, but that can mean that it can be amongst the largest pollutants for our environment if we don’t celebrate mindfully. Ganesh immersion leads to a large amount of pollution in our water bodies and all the waste generated from the decoration also increases the amount of plastic in landfills and water bodies. Thankfully, across the country, people are recognising the importance of ecofriendly Ganesh idols and an eco friendly celebration, so here are some reasons for why you should consider a zero-plastic and sustainable Ganesh Chaturthi too!
The importance of ecofriendly Ganesha
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, which occurs between the months of August to September. People tend to set up a pandal at home, in which an idol of Lord Ganesh is placed, along with decorations and pooja items. After poojas and giving offerings like flowers, food and ghee, the idol is sent off to the water bodies with a ‘Visarjan’ or an immersion.
Every year in Maharashtra, approximately 150 million Ganesh idols are immersed in lakes, rivers, and the sea during the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival. A large amount of these idols is made of Plaster of Paris (PoP), which is a non-biodegradable material which endangers marine life and the health of our water bodies. PoP increases the concentration of heavy metals, dissolved solids and drops the oxygen levels in the water. The importance of eco friendly Ganesha idols is evident and making the switch can make a huge impact on the environment!
All Glitters Are Not Good
Ganesh idols are beautifully decorated with glitter and paints, making the pandal look great. However, these paints often contain heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cadmium, and mercury, which are troublemakers during the idol immersion in the water. These metals alter the pH levels of the water, making it acidic and negatively impacting the marine ecosystem.
A switch to eco friendly Ganpati decorations is also important, because all the decorations from the pandal also ends up in water bodies. Often, these are made of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, which becomes another source of water pollution, alongside the daily discharge of industrial and landfill waste that gets dumped into the water.
Saves Our Water Resources
PoP Ganesh idols remain intact for several months in still water, as opposed to ones made of biodegradable materials like clay, which dissolve within an hour! The PoP idols make water cloudy, and it remains that way for a long time even after Ganesh Chaturthi is over. PoP is made of a naturally occurring substance, gypsum, but excess quantities of that significantly reduces the life carrying capacity and purity of the water.
Protects Human Health
Saving marine life and water resources also contributes to the preservation of our health! If you consume seafood, the chemicals and heavy metals in the PoP ganesh idols negatively impact marine life and cause a range of illnesses when you eat them. The chemicals that are in the water also affect our drinking water, since the water quality is significantly impacted during immersion.
Switch to Sustainable
A great alternative to PoP ganpatis are ecofriendly ganeshas, made of clay or cowdung. Natural clay ganeshas usually add no chemicals, making it completely biodegradable. Ideally, these idols should be immersed at home itself, so the clay can be returned to the soil and reduces the environmental pressure on water bodies.
If you order a Ganpati from us, we also ensure that no plastic is used in the product or the packaging. This is to ensure that your Ganpati is completely sustainable and eco friendly in as many ways as possible, reducing your impact on the environment significantly!
A great alternative to PoP Ganesh idols are plantable Ganpatis. The idols are made either with clay or cocopeat, and contain seeds and compost, allowing you to directly plant the idol into the soil after use. This can be an alternative form of immersion, signifying that Ganesh has been sent back ‘home’ to the natural environment! This idol will grow into a plant soon enough, showing that you can receive the blessings of Lord Ganesh without immersing a PoP idol in the water!
Celebrating this Ganesh Chaturthi from an eco friendly perspective is completely doable! Join our zero-plastic mission at Loopify and bring in the festivities sustainably. Loopify is a zero-plastic sustainable marketplace that offers ecofriendly products. This festive season, purchase all your essentials from us, from eco friendly Ganpati idols to Ganpati pooja essentials.