The Unholy Nature of Glitter-Götterdämmerung

Homemade twine star – with glitter (alas)


It’s pretty. Sparkly. Festive. Fun!

And it’s toxic to the environment.

It gets everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Not just on your skin and clothes and dog’s fur, but our rivers, lakes, and oceans too.

Microplastics, which glitter is comprised of, litter oceans and have been found lining the stomachs of fish and birds.

And another horrible thing about glitter… if it’s on your wrapping paper, it can’t be recycled. It just adds to the world of garbage pollution already out there.

Scientists say glitter won’t tip the scales on climate change, but, eliminating it from our homes is one small thing we each can do to contribute to not tipping the scales on climate change further into the disaster zone.

Which is why glitter is now off my studio table (and I might be going into withdrawal). But I need to do more to treat my world, this planet we share as sacred, holy space. And to do that, I am beginning with foregoing my annual glitter-fest. Because, when I think about it (which is not at all a pleasant thought) I’ve already contributed to years worth of Glitter- Götterdämmerung.

My awakening to Glitter-Götterdämmerung is happenstance.

I’ve been making ornaments for our 2nd Annual Outdoor Fir Tree Festooning, and, as is my way come this most wonderful time of the year, I’ve been glittering up my creations.

Until it struck me that I might want to check into how much glitter is sprinkled on everything at this most wonderful time of the year. And so, I asked Dr. Google

Dr. Google had lots to say. All of which awoke me to the seriousness of the situation. I was violating one of the five principles I strive to live by – “Do No Harm.”

Because seriously, how much harm is not the issue.

The issue is, glitter harms the environment. Full stop. End of story.

Sure, I could rationalize my use by saying it doesn’t do as much harm as plastic bottles or bags, but that would just be me rationalizing my doing harm.

And so, I am introducing a ‘no new glitter’ rule into our household, which also means my studio.

I say, ‘no new’, because I’ve already created harm with the decorations I created over the weekend. (see the photo above)

When we know better, we do better.

I didn’t think to ponder the question “What about that glitter stuff?” when I first began to create. — My excitement of entering into ‘this most wonderful time of the year’ got the better of me.

Which in and of itself is a cautionary environmental tale.

I can’t/we can’t, the environment can’t afford any of us doing things without first asking the question, “How much am I harming my world, my planet, the air and trees and rivers and earth? How much harm am I doing?”

And then take steps back from the edge.

I’m stepping back, moving once again into living by my principles to create the more of what I want to see in the world — less pollution, healthier rivers, streams, forest, flora and fauna.

Now… what to do with all those viles of glitter I already own is a much larger question I need to investigate. ‘Cause however I dispose of them, I will be creating harm.

And that’s a hard microplastic to swallow.


15 thoughts on “The Unholy Nature of Glitter-Götterdämmerung

  1. You are concerned about a few vials of glitter! Take a look at children’s clothing, especially for little girls – all those Princess / Frozen dresses, hair bands – glitter galore. I agree, and support, any initiative that will not harm Mother Earth. You do raise an excellent, loaded question – how to dispose of these pollutants.
    Chains of popcorn ( not coloured for the dyes are not good for birds) works for me on outdoor trees. Or popcorn balls with nuts ! And you can nibble as you assemble, even better throw some peanut butter in for protein.
    See what you have unleashed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your ideas!!!! Thank you Iwona! Unleash away!

      And as to all that glitter — I know — it’s a huge issue — so I start with my contribution — and as to all those vials… I still don’t know! ❤ Hugs my friend.

      Much gratitude for you.


  2. Thank you Louise for your informative and caring post. I didn’t know that glitter was microplastics. It looks so deceivingly pretty. Does this mean that the long glitterchains in the Christmas tree also are from micro Plastics?
    It might be a small thing, many small things can build up a big boulder.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know it either Miriam! And then I went looking and oh dear…. And to answer your question — probably, yes.
      They are minuscule, but they build big boulders — so, I’m hoping that each small thing I delete from my practice helps wear down the boulder. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. right below your post WP pulled up a post by Abycats’ Thoughts about biodegradable glitter made entirely from plants. So I guess that’s a “thing” and an option. I did not read the post, deciding that this time I won’t do the rabbit hole thing, but apparently there are other glitter options. I just dislike it because it is always everywhere and that drives me crazy!


  4. I don’t ‘do’ glitter BUT I have tons of little Xmas foil cutouts, stars, Merry Christmas thingies, raindeers, moons, hearts, you name it – If I send some card to the owners of a pet I always write on the back of the envelope: Don’t open with your pet around, be careful! Same thing of course for elderly or friends with bad eyesight – only very few very large cutouts. For my mum, who is left with about 3-4% sight, I only put in one or two very large stars, hearts or such; it wd be irresponsible to do otherwise. I hate that glitter is sticking to EVERYTHING and will not be removed AT ALL. And to think the damage it causes – we have seen nothing yet! This is a truly alarming post, and a necessary one too!


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