Hai all,
Next month we are going to celebrate Ganesha festival. To be able to choose the most appropriate ecosensitive solution for environmental protection, it is important that we understand the environmental impacts of Ganesh Chaturthi.
I am planning to send an employee communication mail on "HOW TO CELEBRATE GANESHA FESTIVAL IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY WAY"
Would request you all to share the information you have on this topic so that I can prepare a more effective employee communication to create awareness about the same.

From India, Bangalore
Dear Mr. Firoz,
You may share pointers on :
- use of eco-friendly [biodegradable] materials for making idols [mud/clay instead of Plaster of Paris]
- Visarjan without introducing pollutants/chemical-based materials into the water-bodies
- Use of recycled materials [like paper garlands] for decoration & packaging sweets
Best Wishes

From India
thanks for posting such a lovely discussion
well the STATE AND THE CENTRAL AND ALSO THE MEDIA WAKE UP ONLY on the days of festival to acknowledge that "we are there please donot forget us". For 365 days whole of the county is polluted with air water and also soil pollution what does it do ? utter mute, and is just a spectator does nothing. It wakes up only on these days of festival viz ganesh pooja, durga pooja and deepavali sharing their views loudly not to pollute. why is mute on bhopal issue ? why mute on polluted rivers across the country, mute on the polluted waters at kanpur polluted by tannaries, what about the air quality at metros? why not giving its concern about mining in the forest area which have good fragile ecosystem? all these you do not see? cpcb and the state pollution board howl and growl only on these days not to pollute good but what about pollution on other days and for the area where people dont have even good drinking water?

From India, Visakhapatnam
Dear All,
As promised, please find below the draft mail. Would request to add your value additions to the below mentioned draft mail.

Dear All,
- We are going to celebrate 'Ganesha Chaturthi' during this weekend by offering prayers to idols of Lord Ganesha, who is considered a symbol of wisdom and good luck.
-This festival, brings together thousands of people but nowadays, is also contributing to serious environmental pollution.
- This communication is to make you aware of 'Environmental Impacts' and suggest 'Alternatives' with which we could contribute on our part in minimising Environmental pollution by celebrating an 'Eco-friendly Ganesha Chaturthi".
Environmental Impact:
- Besides the noise created by the several Ganesh mandals during the festival, the immersion of idols made out of chemical materials causes significant water pollution.
- The traditional mud/clay idols have been replaced by Plaster of Paris statues which are then painted using toxic chemical dyes to make them bright and attractive to buyers. These materials poison water bodies, by increasing chemical and organic content. In the process, ecosystems in these water bodies get harmed; plant and fish species die in large numbers. Water that has been polluted in this way can cause diseases in the people living downstream.
- In Bangalore a study done by the Central Pollution Control Board to assess the impact of immersion of Ganesh idols on the lakes revealed the following:

The acid content in the waters increased.
The TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) increased by a 100%
The Dissolved Oxygen content increased during the day due to the agitation of waters during immersion and reduced at night when organic discharge increased.
The heavy metal content sampling showed an increase in metals such as iron which increased nearly 10 times and the content of copper in the sediments increased by 200 to 300 %.

The Alternatives:
- Below are ways to reduce the environmental damage from Ganpati celebrations:
Avoid the use of idols made from Plaster Of Paris. Always go for those made of unbaked natural clay, natural fibre, or even recycled paper. Ensure that the dyes used to colour the idols are organic or vegetable in origin.
Do not use thermocol or plastic as decorations or accessories for your Ganpati idol. Instead, use cloth, wood, paper, and other natural materials that are safer when immersed in water.
Immerse the idol in a tub or a tank specially made for the purpose. Later, you can use the water in your garden.
If there is a tank specifically created/designated for immersion purposes, use this instead of a natural source of water such as a lake or a stream.
We could use a metal or stone idol. Symbolically immerse this in a bucket of water, or even carry it in procession to the sea/water bodies, hold it under the water, and then bring it back home.
Collect offerings of flowers and other organic material and put them in a compost pit. These can be used to fertilise your garden. If you must immerse them, wrap them in newspapers instead of polythene bags.
Support in avoiding / minimising noise pollution.

- On this auspicious occasion, we wish you and your family a very 'HAPPY GANESHA CHATURTHI'

From India, Bangalore

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