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.