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There are many ways, in which one can contribute towards environment conservation, even when it comes to celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi. This becomes even more important, in the backdrop of the Coronavirus crisis. By following the simple principles of reduce, reuse and recycle, you can create a festive ambiance in a green way, without compromising on the heath and safety of your home and those living in it.
Eco-friendly celebrations for Ganpati festival have slowly gained importance over the years, with people opting for eco-friendly Ganesh idols. Besides the Ganesha idols, people are also inquiring about eco-friendly decorations, says Ashni Desai, owner of Bloom ’89, a luxury décor and gifting company. Instead of using thermocol temples, one can drape fancy fabrics for the backdrop, suggests Desai. “Bright coloured fabric or rich brocades, can be stored easily and reused the next year. Also, one can build a clay temple or a temple from recycled papier-mâché, draped with fabric, where the eco-friendly Ganesh idol can be kept, without having any adverse effect on our environment,” adds Desai.
New trends in Ganpati decoration for home
In any home, there are bound to be many things, from clothes to accessories like bottles, towels, cartons, old papers or napkins that can be reused, points out Pameli Kayal an architect and an interior designer. Since many of you are still apprehensive about venturing out are shopping only on a need-to basis, this could be your go-to option to bring home festivities this year. Additionally, items mentioned above can be used to teach the children at home, how to recycle and reuse.
“This is a great way to bring the family members together during the festive season. Before getting any expensive new thing, first analyse whether you really need it. For example, a simple way to create more seating space for guests during the festive time, is by repainting and old trunk and placing a mattress or cushion, on top of it. You can also decorate the rims with embroidery or cover it with a cloth of your choice. Old T-shirts and silk kurtis, can be converted into cushion covers. A lot can be achieved with minimal expense or no expense,” adds Kayal.
When it comes to decoration, plastic, thermocol and other artificial accessories can be replaced with natural, biodegradable materials. Traditional earthen lamps, cloth, coconut shells, recycled glass, potted plants, etc., are other eco-friendly options for home décor. For lighting, you can use energy-conserving LED lights. “You can make a decorative element out of it, with paper and cloth as shades. With a little innovation, you can also convert daily items like bottles, fish bowls, coconut shells, cold drink cans, etc., to make show elements out of them,” adds Kayal.
Ways to add a festive spirit to Ganpati decoration
Another way to add a festive spirit, is by creatively arranging fresh flowers like marigold, mogra and roses, to decorate the home. Urlis or glass bowls, with floating candles and fancy painted diyas, can be placed in the foyer area. “Colour coordinate the decoration, or select a theme for your temple area. For puja thalis, opt for steel plates or mirror trays, which can be easily embellished with colourful accessories and paint,” suggests Desai. For making a rangoli, use geru (red earth soil), turmeric, henna and rice powder. To make the home welcoming, freshen it up, by cleaning the space with baking soda and lemon water.
Dos and don’ts for eco-friendly Ganpati decoration at home
- Paint dried leaves, twigs, branches, beetle nuts and small rounded pebbles and use them for decoration.
- Use biodegradable elements like bamboo, jute, cane, cork, coloured strings, hay and coir ropes, to decorate and build the temple or throne on which you will place the Ganesha idol. You can make the pillars using banana leaf with its stem or bamboo plants.
- One can create a small vertical garden on one wall and use it as a backdrop for the Ganpati idol. Alternatively, you can place the Ganpati idol underneath a lovely bonsai tree which is placed in a shallow tray, lit up with fairy lights.
- One can use beads, multi-coloured sheers or old dupattas, for decoration.
- Use coconut shells as diyas or add turmeric powder to wheat flour dough and make yellow-coloured diyas.
- Avoid plastics as they cannot be easily recycled. Instead, use cane baskets to keep the accessories for the puja.
- Use cloth or small paper bags made from old newspapers and decorate it with dried flowers or fancy ribbons, to give away prasad.
- Avoid thermocol plates and opt for bio-degradable options.
- One can make a table lamp out of used bottles. Decoupage (the art of decorating a surface with paper cut-outs and using varnish (or glue) to cover the surface) can brighten the glass bottles for decoration.
- Make torans and rangolis out of old card boxes, cloth flowers, discarded costume jewellery, glitter and pearls.
- To illuminate the temple area, use fairy lights. These lights can also be placed in a corner or in a simple coloured glass jar, to add a unique décor element.
Word of caution
Keeping in mind the rising cases of Coronavirus infections, cities are banning community celebrations and idol immersions. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has, for example, banned direct immersion of idols. This year, the idol immersion would take place through various collection centres that would collect idols from individuals and complete the process. Those not willing to accept this option will have to immerse the idol at their homes.
How to make an eco-friendly throne for the Ganpati idol?
Instead of thermocol, one can use a wooden mandap or throne, which can be reused every year, for Ganesh Chaturthi. You can also use biodegradable elements like bamboo, cane, jute, hay, coloured strings, as well as the stem and leaves of banana plants, to build the temple and throne for placing the idol.
What materials can I use for making eco-friendly rangolis?
For eco-friendly rangolis, home owners can use red earth soil (geru), henna, turmeric and rice powder.
How to decorate the Ganpati mandap?
Use fancy fabrics to drape the mandap or temple where the Ganesha idol will be placed and add a variety of flowers, for eco-friendly decoration.