The #EcoSensitivity of #IndianHeritage
Harking back to ancient Vedic times, the sculpting of a Ganesha idol from Shaadu(natural clay) at home , worshiping it and then immersing it is an age-old practice that incorporates the wisdom of eco-sensitive practices – – a #SustainableLiving practice. This is still followed in parts of South India, notably in Tamil Nadu.
The #EnvironmentalPollution of the Festival
Today, it is a practice that needs to be followed widely because we can see the environmental pollution that is caused by Ganesh Chaturthi festival through:
- Plaster of Paris Ganesh idols. Plaster of Paris (POP) contains gypsum, sulphur, phosphorus and magnesium. The idols take several months to dissolve in water and in the process poison the waters of lake, ponds, rives and seas.
- #ChemicalPollution.The chemical paints used on the idols contain mercury, lead, cadmium and carbon and this increases the acidity and heavy metal content in the water.
- Waste generated by the non-biodegradable accessories – thermocole, plastic flowers, cloth, incense, camphor, etc. used during the worship.
- #Traffic congestion
There are many negative effects on the environment:
- The polluted water causes several diseases including skin diseases.
- The pollution from the idols also damages the #Ecosystem, kills fishes and water plants. Often, the same #PollutedWater gets pumped into homes.
A Central Pollution Control Board Study on the impact of immersion of Ganesh idols on the lakes revealed the following:
- The acid content in the waters increased.
- The TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) increased by a 100%
- The heavy metal content sampling showed an increase in metals such as iron which increased nearly 10 times and the content of copper in the sediments increased by 200 to 300 %.
How do we prevent this Environmental Damage?
- Use eco-friendly clay idols painted with natural colors.
- Use permanent idols made of stone and perform a symbolic immersion and reuse the idol each year.
- Avoid public water bodies to immerse the idols, instead immerse idol in bucket or tub.
Natural Mantra offers you a #SustainableLiving alternative: A Natural Clay Ganesha Home kit with all the necessary tools, #EnvironmentFriendly jewelry & embellishments and a step-by-step video guide. You can also use a ready-made idol made of coconut from the site to re-create this tradition in your own home. Let us ensure the sanctity of our traditions and the purity of our Earth. Happy Ganesha!