Reasons to Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Ganesha
Ganesha Chathurthi is just around the corner and devotees across the country are excitedly purchasing Ganesha idols. These idols are traditionally made out of Plaster of Paris (PoP), which is not biodegradable. Even the paint used to beautify them is toxic and harmful to marine life. With this in mind, many organizations and individuals try keeping to make the festival more eco-friendly.
They have been coming out with innovative ideas to make idols that will not harm the environment. An eco-friendly Ganesha idol is a preferred option among the many devotees. Here are four reasons an eco-friendly Ganesha murti is the best way to go.
Does not pollute natural water sources: One big drawback of Ganesha idols that are made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) is that PoP does not degrade easily, leading to severe consequences like polluted water. The material also increases the acid content of water sources and can kill the natural life in the water. A life that survives in water is an essential part of our ecology. Not only do they keep the water pure and healthy but also help keep common pests like mosquitoes at bay. Apart from all this, studies have found that people who use this polluted water suffer from a host of medical conditions like infections, lung disease, ailments related to the skin, blood and eyes
Metal content in water affects the quality of foods: PoP contains chemicals like magnesium, gypsum, phosphorus and sulphur. The dyes that are commonly used to decorate the Ganesha idols also contain mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead and carbon. When these idols are immersed in common water bodies like the sea, ponds, lakes etc., it gets contaminated with a high amount of metal and other chemicals, which kill fish and plants that live in water. Not only does this lead to a phenomenon called ‘dead water body’, where water body cannot harbour any life forms, but could also lead to heavy metal poisoning caused due to the consumption of fish contaminated with these metals. When ingested these heavy metals are known to interfere with several systems of the body like the nervous, circulatory and digestive system.
Dyes and glitter on PoP idols can harm you as well: Apart from all the above risks, these dyes that are commonly used to colour Ganesha idols made of PoP can be harmful to you and your family. Apart from glitter that is often used to add that special sparkle to the idol, may also rub off on your hands and clothes. When inhaled, this glitter can cause damage to your lungs, affect your eyes with burning sensation and even causes allergies in some cases. In contrast, an eco-friendly Ganesha murti poses none of those risks.
After having a look at the pros and cons of both types of idols used in Ganesha Chaturthi, we can safely say that the eco-friendly option is the preferred choice. This Ganesha Chaturthi, everybody should take a resolution to ditch the PoP idols and bring eco-friendly Ganesha murti home.