Once ‘Waste’, Offerings in These Mumbai Temples Now Nourish 150 Trees

Since it is discouraged to dump temple offerings in the garbage, they are usually discarded in rivers, lakes or ponds. But 2 temples in Mumbai are changing this.

With their heads stooped low and their hands folded in a Namaste, devotees go to temples to pray. Some visit on special occasions, while others visit daily. And every time they visit, they have some offerings for God–flowers, coconuts and even curd and ghee!

But have you ever wondered what happens to the offerings that you carry with such sentiments?

Since it is discouraged to dump temple offerings in the garbage, they are usually discarded in rivers, lakes or ponds.

Two temples in Parle, Mumbai, have taken steps to change this fate of biodegradable offerings and give them an even more holy ending!

The Parleshwar and Mahalakshmi temples in Mumbai have installed three compost boxes in their premises. Working all year round, the Swachh Parle Trust doubles their efforts during Ganesh Festivals. In February, for instance, they harvested 750 kgs of compost!

The Trust tweeted, “Delighted to share that 750 kgs of compost was extracted from about 7 tonnes of Ganesh Festival Nirmalya (offerings) harvested recently. 3 tonnes is still under process.”

Speaking to The Times of India, Aniket Karandikar, a trustee of the Mumbai temples, said that the Parleshwar and Mahalakshmi temples have been implementing this method of converting offerings into compost for the last two and a half years!

Temple employees keep adding new offerings to the compost bins regularly, mixing them and sprinkling water to keep it moist.

A compost pit in the temple and the Swachh Parle Abhiyaan team. Source.

Even kitchen compost is added, to maintain healthy pH values of the compost. This way, the temples yield about 6-7 bags of compost every month, which is then applied to about 150 trees in the vicinity.

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Utilising your offerings to maintain greenery in the ever-expanding concrete jungles of Mumbai is certainly a holy way to go. Next time you go to either of the temples in Mumbai, you’ll know that your offerings are indeed going to God–Mother Earth!

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

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