Tomorrow, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi begins. For eleven days, people all over India and around the world will bring a Ganesha idol into their homes and, on the last day; many will also submerge their idol in a nearby body of water to signify the removal of evil.
In Mumbai, the festival is the biggest one celebrated by the whole city with everyone taking part with fervor and enthusiasm, especially the last day where streets are filled with festival-goers heading to the sea. According to India Today, in Mumbai alone, an estimated 2,000 idols were submerged last year. This occurrence, however, was devastating for marine ecosystems. The chemicals present in the paint used on the idols affected the waters in such a way that Mumbai’s coastline saw the death and washed up remains of many fish, snakes and turtles that had been affected.
The negative affect of actions like this is truly distressing to hear an we at Sui wanted to share some green tips on how to celebrate more sustainably this year.
Here are some eco-conscious idol options:
- Paper idols that biodegrade naturally
- Soil idols that dissolve easily in water and are not harmful to the environment
- Idols that use chemical-free paint as to not pollute and put toxic substances into our waters, negatively affecting marine life and ecosystems.
- Idols you can plant – those made of soil that also include seeds, turning your idol into a beautiful plant that can now be a green part of your home
There is always a way to carry out our actions with more conscious thought and research behind it, a way to do things greener. Making a collective effort to change will help us take better care of our Earth.
So many of our natural ecosystems suffer at the hands of human impact, but these are all actions we can reconsider in the hope of a better future for our planet. Remember to look for the alternative path, always ask yourself; what are my options? Are there greener choices I could be making?
We at Sui hope you decide to celebrate the sustainable way and wish you a happy Ganesh Chaturthi!