Devotion or Destruction – What do you choose this Ganesh Chaturthi? #EnvironmentalTalks #GoGreen #CauseAChatter

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most celebrated festivals in Mumbai. As a child-welcoming Bappa, as we lovingly call him, was one of the most awaited festivals of the year. Visiting the beautifully decorated pandals with different themes every year and savouring the modak was my most favourite part of the festival. 

Like all festivals come to an end the 10th-day visarjan brought a dull feeling inside. As children, we used to go and stand on the road or watch from our terrace the Ganesh Visarjan throughout the day. Post Visarjan, visuals of the broken moorti’s being washed away, the dead fish and all the dirt pricked me in my heart however, I did not know what could be done. In the recent past, many have taken cognizance of this fact and have come up with eco-friendly and sustainable options at our disposal. 

Every year there is an increase in the number of people buying Ganesh idols however, call it lack of awareness or our slackness we don’t want to see the damage the chemical loaded idols are doing to our Mother Nature. Today we have options – we just need to make the RIGHT choice.

Hard Fact – Did you know that Ganesh idols made with POP could float for many years?


Most of the Ganesh idols are made of Plaster of Paris (POP), plastic and cement. POP is not a naturally occurring material. It contains calcium sulfate hemihydrate along with sulphur, magnesium and phosphorus. Such idols take a longer duration for complete dissolution so they float. Calcium sulfate hemihydrate reduces the oxygen level in the water which kills fishes and other aquatic animals. Slowly this chemical is poisoning the water body ecosystem.

Hard Fact – Colours aren’t beautiful always.

Heaps of dead fish, turtles and snakes on Dadar Beach. Read more at:

The chemical paints used to adorn the Ganpati idol contains mercury, lead, cadmium etc which increases the heavy metal content of the water bodies causing damage to the ecosystem.

Hard Fact – Add-ons are equally damaging.


The decorative material used contains plastic, POP, thermocol, which are not eco-friendly options that suffocate aquatic life causing pollution. The flowers and the puja material are thrown away in the water, comes ashore. Organic materials like flowers also exhaust the oxygen in the water for decomposition. Post visarjan, the site of the beaches are not worth seeing, you kind of walk on the flowers and puja materials you worshipped the idol with.

Hard Fact – Our future is insecure.

With all this water pollution, do you think we remain unaffected. The fishes we eat or the seafood don’t you think will contain all these toxic ingredients. The pollution will surely enter our homes because the source of water is one. 

Think about our future generations – 

What kind of problems they will have to face? 

What kind of legacy we want to leave behind for them?

They will think we used up all the natural resources to leave behind pollution and a fight for survival for them, do we want this?

We still have things in our hand can’t we CHANGE our MINDSET?

What can we do?

  • Go for greener and sustainable options. There are clay idols made with natural paints which work the best. These can be immersed at home and the water can be used for the plants or we have options of growing plants from our idols – sounds amazing right.
  • Shadu clay or paper idols also use chemical paints which aren’t completely eco-friendly. The decorative diamonds and all the stones aren’t sustainable options.
  • Use Biodegradable options instead of plastic, thermacol etc. Fabric or paper flowers, natural flowers are the best, things which won’t hurt our mother nature.
  • Use Metal idols which can be reused.
  • All the flowers can be used in our plants as organic fertiliser instead of been thrown away in the water bodies.
  • Purchase stuff which can be reused for longer periods.
Gannu Bappa….

We want our Bappa to be the best, what he wants is our devotion and love. I am sure the happiness on our faces when the idol comes home is what he cherishes and the tears of love when we immerse is what he takes along with him.

We always say life never gives us a chance to make a change, we have many we just need to start making them.

I hope I am able to bring a change in the mindset of all the people reading this blog – its my heartfelt sincere request – MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE THIS GANESH CHATURTHI AND ALWAYS.

As for me – Gannu Bappa I am waiting for your Aagman 😊

‘This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla and sponsored by Bakez by Daizy.

Ganesh Chaturthi Special: How Idol Immersion Adversely Impacts The Environment

Click to access Ganesh_Visarjan_09.pdf

Image -, Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. ************************************************************************************


  1. I am so glad you wrote this post! 3 years ago; I realised the damage that we are doing to the environment and started making the Ganesha idol at home. My children have become more environmentally aware since we took this step.

    1. Yes Mayura, I was witness to that. I really appreciated the efforts you and your kids took to make that Ganpati, it was the best. Thanks for your encouraging words, means a lot.

  2. Such a hard hitting post, Manisha! A must read just in time for Ganesh Chaturthi. We have all been pained at the sight of the debris washed up by the sea post the Chaturthi celebrations. Your wonderfully written post is a reminder to start setting things right, because as you say, ‘Our future is insecure’.

    1. I feel worried and concerned about our slackness, sometimes it’s difficult to educate the educated I feel. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. I could not agree more with this article. Every year in the name of rituals we spend tons of money on pollution maker idols, crackers and create a mess to our environments. Eco friendly idols are not only good for sustainable living but also aids our environment to remain same.

  4. Your photos have brought home the fact that once the pooja is over, we turn a blind eye to the filth and pollution we create. A massive awareness and sensitisation campaign is needed to stop such polluting practices. The situation is sensitive because faith, beliefs, and religion are involved. Too aggressive campaigning may be considered offensive by some people – an attack on their faith.

    1. Yes religion is a tricky topic to deal with. However it’s time we take cognizance of our situation before it’s late. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      1. I completely agree with you. Yet, if we look at a situation with sensitivity and understanding, there is always a solution.

  5. People should think about environment and there are other ways to celebrate festival without causing environmental pollution.
    Like helping the poor & needy .

    1. Yes we can celebrate the festival with sustainable options. Helping the needy should be a practice for sure. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. This is such an important post. The festival season is here. And the environment is going to bear the brunt of it. The pics are hard hitting but this is the side of festivals no one talks about. Murtis being bulldozed are not the exact idea of devotion.

    1. Everytime I saw specially Mumbai Ganesh festivals start with so much enthusiasm and on visrjan it look like a Garbage. I always think how people afford this. Making their idol in the garabge. Hope it will stop one day.

      1. They just turn a blind eye once the puja is done. But it’s high time we see the results of our actions before it’s late. Thanks for stopping by 🙂.

  7. I totally agree with you, Mahek. In the name of religion we are killing the environment. Large scale propaganda and action by the govt is needed to stop this practice. I buy this clay Ganesha which comes with seeds and I think these should be encouraged a lt.

  8. Recently many people have started thinking about the environment and have switched to eco friendly idols. I hope soon every murti will be made eco friendly to avoid such destruction of our environment. Your article is superb and very well researched.

  9. Recently many people have switched to eco friendly murti and hopefully soon every one will understand the importance of doing so and switch to eco friendly murti and avoid such destruction of environment. Your article is very well researched and superb.

    1. Yes its high time to switch eco-friendly and sustainable option. Loved the detailed article. We can easily avoid environment destruction by choosing eco friendly idol.

  10. Yes its high time to switch eco-friendly and sustainable option. Loved the detailed article. We can easily avoid environment destruction by choosing eco friendly idol.

  11. These pictures are disturbing, mainly the first one. We need to be more conscious about the environment. Most people treat these resources as Gods that they are polluting.

  12. The time has come when we need to focus on environmental issues more than anything else. Your poat is relevant and published at the right time of the year.

  13. Informative Post on how good and bad we can be to our earth, just try not to opt for the convenience. Infact, one should think before buying any non compostable product, be it for any festival or daily life. Bulletin points are the highlight here.

  14. In the past two years, people have actually noticed how better Mother Nature revived wig humans locked up in their homes. It os definitely a lesson learnt and now we need to be more careful. Eco-friendly should be the way.

      1. I really hope people follow the suite. We can’t keep a blind eye towards our environment. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  15. Thank you for this post. It is such solid food for thought. The post is many Indian festivals that we celebrate but forget about Mother Earth.

  16. I appreciate this post , glad you spoke about it . It is high time people need to understand the difference, we surely have other options to enjoy eco friendly ganesha chathurti

  17. This is a very relevant post. Opting for eco-friendly options to celebrate festivals should be taken seriously. It has become the call of the time.

  18. One can celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in an ecofriendly way without harming the environment. Buying an ecofriendly Ganesha as opposed to the PoP Ganesha is the first step towards an ecofrienndly festival. Sandy N Vyjay

  19. We have been getting environment friendly Ganesh for many years now as indeed Pop based Ganesh floats in water and also harm the environment. So many waterbodies get affected every year after the idol immersion we all should practice environment friendly celebration.

  20. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. Since Ganesh Chaturthi is around the corner, it is important to realize what we can do to protect the environment this year, so that aquatic life is not impacted when Ganpati idols are immersed in water. By making eco-friendly idols this year, we will be making an impact to the society and also be able to enjoy the festival properly.

  21. Such a lovely and amazing post Mahek. It is so important to become more environment friendly now as we have done enough damage already. Ganesh Chaturthi is truly my favourite festival but having an eco friendly Ganesha is so crucial and will help us in many ways towards saving our earth.

  22. I second you here. Each year in the name of rituals we spend tons of money on pollution maker idols, crackers and create a mess to our environments. Eco friendly idols are not only good for sustainable living but also aids our environment to remain same. We should stop buying these polluted idols and start something useful to mother earth also.

  23. Celebrations do not mean we should forget about our environment. Infant, we should make sure that our actions should not disturb the ecological balance. Many have started to move towards eco-friendly Ganesha idols but there are still any who are yet to be convinced.

  24. I strongly agree with your point of view and along with festival celebration, it is equally important to pay a good attention on our environment. we had made that shift three years ago and now, we bring mud Ganesha at home to save the environment.

  25. A very important post it is. It’s high time we all should switch to eco friendly. As it is the need of the time to take care of the environment.

  26. We always tend to ignore the facts about the destruction we make towards environment during festivals. These pointers are helpful and reminders for all of us to set a green path.

  27. I wish if every people think in the same way . In my house we always avoid colourful idols for Ganpati puja or any other puja . Infact we create at home the idols which are environment friendly.

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