Disposition of Cremation Ash
Religious offerings in our RIVERS
Hindus believe that water is sacred because it is the foundation for the growth of plant, animal and human life. The act of placing organic offerings in water after Pooja represents a return to origins. Hindu religious offerings are being found in local rivers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The religious offerings include: Flowers and leaves, coconuts, lemons, and other fruits, jewellery or coins, cloth or clothing
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) and Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) know that religious offerings are important to many cultures. CVC and TRCA are working closely with the Hindu community to find other means to placing offerings in the river, while also exploring similar cultural and religious offering practices.
What does this mean to the ENVIRONMENT?
While religious offerings are not the largest source of water pollution, anything not found naturally in the river can harm water quality and the homes of wildlife.
When flowers, leaves, lemons, coconuts and other plant materials are put into the water, they immediately begin to break down and use up oxygen. Some plants and animals are very sensitive to the amount of oxygen in the water and cannot survive when there is not enough.
Coconuts, lemons and other fruits may cause health and disease problems if eaten by wildlife. This is because these fruits do not grow in Canada and are not the typical food that wildlife in this country would eat.
Clothing, jewellery, money, plastic bags, containers and wrappers may cause harm if wildlife get caught in them or eat them.
What can I do?
Flowers and leaves may be placed in local rivers, however only a small handful should be release a t one time. Extra flowers can be composted.
Fruits such as coconuts may be eaten, composted or buried with the permission of the landowner.
Offering such as clothing, jewellery or money should not be placed in or near rivers. These offering may be donated to your local temple.
Plastic bags or wrappers must be recycled or placed in the garbage.
Who do I contact for more information?