#MumbaiList: Bring Home A Green Ganesha This Year

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Mumbai celebrates Ganesh Utsav with unmatched vigor and enthusiasm. Families open their homes to the elephant god and shower him with love. The smell of sweets fills the air, people adorn themselves with their finest clothes and the resonanting voices of people singing aartis can be heard all day. Hordes are drawn to the streets to bid him farewell. Then after ten days of revelry, the decorations come down and the shiny sarees are folded away. The city is left scarred, the coastline destroyed. An unfortunate cycle that repeats itself every year.

The damage after Visarjan

The mass immersion of idols has a devastating effect on the beaches of Mumbai, and a walk on the beach post visarjan can be quite visually traumatic “Most of the time we end up stamping on the hand, face or stomach of an idol and it upset me knowing that something we worship for so many days end s up this way” says Santacruz resident Pawan Manglani. His family has celebrated Ganesh Utsav at  home for over 25 years, and last year they switched to using an idol made of a natural clay. He sources his idol from a green store in Yari road called Our Li’l Bit.

There’s a positive change happening, and this can be seen in the number of organizations that give people an option of chosing an eco-friendly idol. Sprouts is an organization that works toward protecting the planet in several ways. Their motto is “we work for nature!” The Sprouts Environment Trust aims at creating and environmentally-involved community. Their Earth Shop sources idols from traditional artisans who use river clay and natural dyes to create Ganpati idols. They also sell papier mache idols that are made with discarded paper goods.

Eco Corner is another brand that advocates a greener lifestyle. They have a store at 1st floor of Skyzone in High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel, but also retail their wares at other shops like Bliss in Versova. They make eco friendly terracotta ganesh idols. The Bombay Store has a wide range of idols as well, some crafted with clay and terracotta. Others with metal or wood. Many families now choose to completely do away with the immersion of the idol. They reuse an idol made with a more durable material and do a more symbollic visarjan of the flowers and othe materials used in the pooja.

A Ganesh Idol from Maati Crafts

Maati Crafts as the name suggests has retails products that are good for the earth. This store is located in Powai, and for this festive season they have on offer 100% bio-degradable Ganesh idols made with gray clay and coloured with natural materials like haldi and gheru.

Buying an eco-friendly ganapati is just a part of the process. How you immerse the idol is equally important. 24 years old photographer Anushay Badrinath and her family have an interesting way of saying good bye to the tusked diety. A simple way to make sure no debris is left clogging the sea.

A change is on its way, at least I would like to believe so. I’m sure this year too, on the morning after visarjan we will wake up to a city in mourning. But let’s hope with time to come all we mourn is an end of a festival and not the waste it leaves behind.

UPDATE:
This is a repost of an old blog post. Though we have taken care to check all these services are still available, in case we have missed something, do excuse us. And also point it out to us so we may make the post as accurate as possible.

Post By Salonee Gadgil (86 Posts)

I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.

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Salonee Gadgil

Salonee Gadgil
I'll chat with my imaginary pet dog and perfect a handstand while the rest of you act like grown ups.