Celebrating, the green way

Sep 06, 2013, 03:01 IST | Kavita Shyam

With Ganesh Utsav just around the corner, The Guide offers you tips on how to make your own eco-friendly idol and where to shop for such idols

Each year, thousands of Punekaris bring in idols to celebrate Ganesh Utsav. If the idols are made from non-biodegradable materials, then it can harm the environment.

Eco-friendly Ganapati idol in the city

This year, we suggest you go eco-conscious and learn to say no to idols and decorations that use thermocol, chemicals, plastic, or plaster of paris, which pollute the environment and endanger the water bodies.

Instead we suggest you opt for natural, biodegradable idols made from clay or papier mache. Besides, an eco-friendly idol looks equally elegant and beautiful and once immersed, they dissolve and do not pollute the environment. Read on to find out where to buy eco-friendly Ganesha idols or how to make your own idol at home.  

Make your own eco-Ganesha
Materials required

>> Shaadu, which is readily available in shops, especially in those which sell raw materials for Ganesh idols.
>> Vessels to make clay from dry mud.
>> Taklon brushes for colouring the idol.
>> Fork or toothpick for carving the idol.
>> Natural or water-based colours, turmeric, multani mitti and geru.
>> Newspapers to spread on the floor before you start working.

Eco-friendly Ganapati idol at Shivaji Nagar. Pics/ Sachin Thakare

>> Make two balls of clay; use the larger ball to form the body and the smaller one to craft the head.
>> Make two long coils (snake-like); one of the coils can be for the hands while the other can be for the legs which should be a little thicker.
>> Place one ball upon the other and merge the ends that touch each other. Attach the legs and merge them properly into the body.
>> Add the hands to the upper body and merge.
>> Add another long coil to form the trunk.
>> You can flatten the free ends of the hands and legs to form the palm and feet.
>> Make small balls and flatten them to form ears and attach them to the sides of the head.
>> Take a cotton bud and dip in water and try to smoothen out the clay all over. Do not use too much water. Do it smoothly and gently with care, so that you don’t spoil the structure.
>> Add two little coils for the tusks. Make impressions on the ears with the help of a fork, while a toothpick can be used to mark the fingers, eyes and toes.
>> Make ornaments and crown using foil or clay.
>> Leave the idol to dry in a cool place away from sunlight lest it cause cracks. The idol takes a day or two to dry, depending on its size.
>> After drying, you can add tilak, the eyes and eyebrows. Use water colours to paint the idol. You can create natural blue from indigo plant, yellow from turmeric or marigold, orange/red from brick powder or marigold, brown from katha, black from charcoal, violet from jamun and gold from mica.
>> You can also make smaller idols from vegetables like pumpkin. You can design Ganeshas using Rangoli or flowers. Use biodegradable colours such as turmeric, henna, coloured dal and gulaal to make rangoli.

Where to shop for eco-friendly Ganeshas 

At: Plot 59, Near Sai Ganesh Apartment Sanjay Park, Old Airport Road.
Call: 26698035

Shop for a cause
At: D402, Sky Lounge, Kalyani Nagar.
Call: 9322211424.
At: Hypercity Pune, Kumar Pacific, Shankarshet Road.

Nilaya Bandhej
At: Jayanti Apartments, next to Ratna Hospital, Senapati Bapat Road.
Call: 25660790 / 9527353884

The Bombay Store
At: 322, MG Road.
Call: 26131891/1067

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