How is your Ganesh Chaturthi preparation going on? Usually, people start preparing for this festival days before the actual day. Many Bollywood and TV celebs have been sharing their plans for the festival celebration, with some even making Ganesha idols at home. But with all the celebration there is one very essential consideration you need to make -- eco-friendly Ganesha idols versus the traditional Plaster Of Paris ones. While the ones made of POP are very attractive, cheap and easy to make, the eco-friendly ones can do a lot of good for your health and the environment at large.
Eco-friendly Ganesha idols are those that are made of clay, natural fibers, paper and other biodegradable materials. These idols, when immersed in water degrade faster and do not harm the environment as much as the ones made of POP. So, to help you make the move towards a more eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturti, here are 4 reasons an eco-friendly Ganesha idol is the best way to go.
1. Does not pollute natural water sources
One big drawback of Ganesha idols made of POP is the fact 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 natural life in the water. While we may not think much of this, you must realise that life that survives in water are an essential part of our ecology. Not only do they help keep the water pure and healthy but they also help keep common pests like mosquitoes at bay (fish found in lakes and ponds feed on mosquitoes keeping their numbers in check). 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.
2. 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 these idols also contain mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, and carbon. When these idols are immersed in common water sources (like the sea, ponds, lakes, etc.) it gets contaminated with 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 the 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.
3.Dyes and glitter on POP idols can harm you as well
Apart from all the above risks, the dyes that are commonly used to colour Ganesha idols made of POP can be harmful to you and your family. Apart from that the 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 and even cause allergies in some. In contrast an eco-friendly Ganesha idol poses none of those risks.
4.Eco-friendly Ganesha idols can be a family-bonding exercise
The best part about owning an eco-friendly Ganesha idols is the fact that you can make them yourself. You might need some guidance initially, but later it can be a lot of fun to create your own idol. The whole activity can be a great way of family bonding and allows you and your family members an opportunity to unleash their creativity. You can choose from a variety of materials like paper mache, clay, aata and even turmeric to make your very own eco-friendly Ganesha idol.