It is that time of the year again when our beloved Lord Ganesha returns to our homes. Every year millions of people eagerly look forward to the 10 days when Lord Ganesha, comes visiting and a deep sense of devotion combined with jubilant celebration fills the air in the city. But Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations take a heavy toll on the already over-burdened, fragile ecosystem and pollution levels skyrocket during the festive season.

Ganesh idols are made of plaster of paris, lead-coated paint, plastic and metal ornaments which are extremely toxic. Once the idols are immersed in the ocean they cause irreversible damage to aquatic life and water. There is loud music playing all day and late into the night that adds to the noise pollution which causes distress in animals and birds. But all is not lost, there are small changes you could incorporate in your celebration that would make a big impact in reducing the pollution levels and making a positive impact on the environment.

Eco-Friendly Idols
There are several NGO’s and media has been successfully raising awareness about the eco-friendly Ganpati idols made of clay, mud & recycled material. When immersed in the water these beautiful idols completely disintegrate in a matter of minutes. Unlike idols made of plaster of paris that is not biodegradable and extremely harmful to aquatic life.

Smaller Idol
A bigger idol directly translates to more pollution and damage to our oceans. In an age where we are combating rising sea temperatures due to global warming, there is an urgent need to protect the environment. Every one of has to do our bit in reducing further damage to our environment reducing the size of the idol is just the step in the right direction.

Save Energy
Conserving energy is not just limited to saving on your personal electricity costs. Higher uses of electricity can accelerate the negative consequences of climate change, including higher temperatures and a rise in the frequency of extreme weather events. During the festive season, the use of electricity is at its peak, with light decoration directly contributing to global warming. Small steps to conserve energy can go a long way to help maintain the balance in nature.

Eco-friendly decoration
Plastic goods are one of the cheapest and most affordable options available in the market. They are easily available and come in use & throw packages. This is one of the main reasons why plastic today is the main culprits in causing pollution. Plastic takes a very long time to decompose (100 – 500 Years), simply put they remain in the soil, water, and ocean for many years to come. That is why there is an urgent need to replace plastic with other biodegradable options to slow down the damage done to Mother Earth. There are small ways we can do our bit for the environment like opting for paper decoration over plastic. Replace the very popular plastic plates and glasses with eco-friendly options.

Noise Pollution
Music is good on the ears, can have a euphoric effect as long as it is not causing any nuisance to others. Loud music adds to noise pollution and causes distress in animals and birds. So keeping in mind Ganesha and our devotion for him it is sensible to keep the volume of the music to a lower decibel. Celebrate the God of knowledge by being sensitive to all the creatures that inhabit this planet.

Artificial Immersion tank
The popularity of artificial immersion tanks is increasing; more people are choosing to immerse their idols in man-made water tanks rather than in the open ocean. Adopt eco-friendly immersion route by opting for artificial ponds to prevent harmful elements like Plaster of Paris, chemicals, paints and other toxins from harming the oceans and aquatic life.