On the occasion Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary, gurdwaras are embracing a message of ‘Green Seva’ to spread awareness about creating a healthy environment through sustainable living and reducing waste.
Posters on ‘Green Seva’ were placed at prominent gurdwaras in Delhi such as Bangla Sahib, Rakabganj, Sishganj and Motibagh. The aim of the drive is to reduce wastage, stop use of polluting material such as styrofoam, save water and segregate waste and recycle.
On Thursday, the langar was taken by more than 3,000 devotees on bio-degradable leafy plates at the gurdwara in South City-1.
Ruchika Sethi, a resident, said, “Green Seva is an excellent way to showcase an individual’s responsibility towards his /her environment and create healthy practices. Using compostable material for langars is a sustainable way of reducing waste and protecting the environment. This is in line with the teachings of the Guru for living in harmony with nature.”
A lot of people prefer the convenient use-and-throw plastic and styrofoam containers for langar ceremonies. A huge number of devotees arrange ‘bhandaras’ or ‘langars’ and, in the process, litter the roads with styrofoam disposables, wrappers, etc.
The posters urged the use of ‘pattals’ and ‘dunas’ (leaf plates and bowls) which are biodegradable and compostable. The posters motivate people to do their bit to ensure clean surroundings after religious events.
Green activists and environmentalists have welcomed the initiative. “With a defunct solid waste management plant, disposable waste must be reduced and such religious community-based actions can go a long way in bringing in eco sustainability,” said Shona Chatterji of Citizens For Clean Air.
A member of Gurdwara Sadh Sangat, South City 1, said, “We have replaced plastic plates with leaf ones. Also, we have started our own waste segregation. The vegetable peels and minimal leftovers are sent to nearby cow sheds as fodder for cattle. Other organic waste is being used in a pit compost.”