During the Ganesh Festival in India, tons of idols representing the elephant-headed god are immersed in the ocean. The paint and other elements used for the making of these idols get blended in the water and pollute and kill the marine life of the bay.
SPROUTS Environment Trust, an environmental NGO in India came up with a very original solution to this problem and their initiative took off:
By moving away from harmful toxic components and using instead vegetarian compounds and natural food coloring, this organization is helping reduce the pollution generated by this 10 day festival. Other initiatives by other organizations include:
- On the Yamuna ghat in East Delhi, devotees with idols not meeting environment-friendly standards were allowed to do a symbolic immersion and then asked to deposit the idols at a designated place on the banks. The Hindu, 9/29/15
- In Agra, women’s groups come together for pollution-free festivities. The Times of India, 9/21/15
- In Thane, floral waste from the festival was turned into manure. The Times of India, 9/24/15
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