Impact on Environment during the Ganesh Festival
Deties and Emotions and Rituals have a important part and Aspect in Indian Culture and especially more in the Maharashtrian people and Culture.
Much news and points have been raised about the recent years "celebrations" during the Ganesh Festival.
The impact on environment occur because of noise pollutions caused by loud sound blocks used during the "Aratis" or ritual prayers which big people put up during the festival which become a cause of worry for the surrounding living people. Worship should be by heart and Lord Ganesha is not much pleased by the loud sounds used in processions.
Other impact is the air pollutions caused by frequent use of crackers which let out heavy smoke which again are nothing but the wastage of money. Lord Ganesha never said anywhere to have loud sounds and heavy smoke to celebrate His arrival, His stay or His leaving processions.
The impact on natural environment is caused by the use and immersion of Lord Icons created using Plaster of Paris which after immersion in Water Bodies, do not disintegrate which is totally against the basic concept of creation of the Lord Icons using earth from nearby one's home and thus the cycle of creation and dissolution in Nature.
The dissolution of POP is slow and it releases toxic materials in the water in which the icon is immersed and the chemical paints used also contain Mercury and Cadmium which are very much harmful to the natural flora of the water bodies and to the living in the Water and then thus also to Man himself when he consumes the water.
Precautionary methods to prevent pollution during Ganesh Festival
1. Do not use loud sounds during processions and prayers and also advice other people not to do so.
2. Do not use heavy smoke creating fire crackers. After all, Lord Ganesha will never like this and also that this is our Environment and we must protect this environment for our future generations and also for future Ganesha Festivals.
3. Insist on buying Lord Ganesh icons created from Earth (Clay / Shaadu Maati) which do not cause pollution after immersion.
4. Insist for natural colours on the Lord Ganesh Murti (Icon).
5. You can go for a better option of having a Lord Ganesh Murti made of Stone / Brass / any other metal according to the aesthetic value you have and have the same Murti every year for the festival.
6. If you do wish to use a Plaster of Paris (POP) Icon, then do not immerse the icon and have it repainted every year before the festival.
7. Get Creative! Use Icons made of Paper pulp (mache) can give us the same light weight icons which can be much more attractive than the POP ones. But do think of usage of paper also.
8. Encourage people to immerse Ganesh Icons in Tanks rather than Natural water bodies. Let the other living creatures also be safe and healthy.