Ganesh Chaturthi is just around the corner. We love our festivities in India. Many of us are looking forward to the new clothes, sweets, celebration and family time coming our way!
But here’s the less happy side of our celebrations. Last year Mumbaikars alone immersed almost 1,90,000 statues into the waters around the city. Now one can only imagine the amount of pollution and loss of aquatic life this leads to. Our cities are already polluted and run over with garbage. Is there a better way to celebrate occasions that are so important to us?
In earlier times, people celebrated festivals using natural ingredients they found in the environment around them. This kept the waste to a minimum, and was also eco-friendly since the ingredients would return to nature once they were discarded. Luckily, there are a few people who have sought out ways to give a more eco-friendly tone to our festivities. Here are a few ideas that will double your blessings this year!
- Make room for Chocolate Ganesha!
Those keeping idols in their house may prefer for buying Ganesh idols made from Plaster Of Paris (PoP) since they are relatively cheaper. However, what seems cheaper to us costs the environment a hefty price. Try Mumbai baker Rintu Kalyani Rathod’s innovative idea instead! She sculpts statues of Lord Ganesha from chocolate. On the day of visarjan (immersion) the idol is immersed in milk. The chocolate milk then formed is distributed to underprivileged children. This way, none of the ingredients go to waste, and they’re even used for a good cause.
Rintu will teach you how to make a chocolate Ganpati at her sculpting workshop. For bookings you can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call on 8691958484.
Check out her website: http://www.rinibakes.com
Image credits : Rintu Kalyani Rathod via GIPHY
Dattadri Kothur alias Dattu has his own take on preserving the essence of Lord Ganesha in an eco-friendly way. He creates Ganesh idols from a mixture of red soil, ladyfinger seeds and organic fertilizer. The idol is then placed on an earthen pot. On the day of Visarjan the idol is drenched in water. The idol slowly dissolves into the pot, while the water and the mud help the planting of the ladyfinger seeds. His Tree Ganesha has received extensive news coverage and admiration from celebrities like Diya Mirza, Riteish Deshmukh and Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis.
Get your own tree Ganesha here: http://www.treeganesha.com/ganesh-idols
Image credits : Dattadri Kothur via GIPHY
- Eat green:
Have lots of guests coming over but don’t want to end up with a pile of plastic? This idea is a water and time saver! Leaf plates are a greener alternative in comparison to plastic or thermocol plates. We’ve been using them in temples and homes for years, and now you can use them for your guests as well. They’re biodegradable, so a better alternative to the plastic that most people use to serve visitors.The best part about all these items – they’re made by young adults with autism and developmental delay. Shraddha Charitable Trust is an NGO that encourages these young adults by training them in skills that make them employable. Not only do they learn a skill, they also receive a portion of the proceeds as a stipend for themselves. In addition to this you can also purchase the upcycled decorations made from CDs to add some bling to your festive decor!
Check out their leafware: http://shraddhamumbai.org/product-category/soul-serve-leafware/
You can contact Daisy or Saylee on 022 2351 3735 | 022 2352 4463| 98209 04079 or write to them at email@example.com
Image credits : Shraddha Charitable Trust via GIPHY
- Beautiful reusable garlands:
This year during the Kala Ghoda Festival we had the opportunity to learn the art of flower making from the intellectually disabled children at Jai Vakeel Foundation. These flowers made from satin and other cloth based materials are then woven into beautiful garlands/torans and are perfect to decorate your house. Jai Vakeel Foundation has a huge variety of garlands to choose from, and they’re re-usable too! All of their products are hand-made by their intellectually challenged students. So with every product you purchase, you help the students reach their maximum potential and become contributing members of society.
You can contact Purvi Shah on 022 2470 1231 or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credits : Jai Vakeel Foundation via GIPHY
- One for the sweet-tooth:
Why not ditch the familiar Indian sweets for some ‘Chocolate Prasad’ this year?
You can order some from Om Creations Trust – a non-profit training project. These chocolates are prepared by mentally challenged and differently abled women. Through this project Om Creations Trusts aims to create a life of dignity to mentally challenged and differently-abled women. These delicious chocolates will definitely have your guests talking! Om Creations also sells eco-friendly Ganesh idols made from clay which are biodegradable and leave a minimal carbon footprint!
Check out their website: http://www.omcreationstrust.org
You can contact them on 022 2497 2294 (Mahalaxmi)| 022 6452 4739 (Mumbai Central) | 98209 35099 (Bhuleshwar) or write to them at email@example.com
Image credits : Om Creations Trust via GIPHY