Unicorns are dangerous.
Now I know that they may be the “animal” of the decade, and that they’re cute and “so fluffy I’m gonna die!“, but I was thinking about unicorns as I put my recycling out this morning (Friday is recycling collection day).
Bear with me on this.
I don’t know what it’s like in your area, and depending on where you live I don’t know if you get a recycling collection truck come round – but we do. So every other Friday morning everyone puts out their rubbish and recycling. And this is what breaks my heart and makes me mad in equal measures:
The amount of rubbish that’s left out in my street equals about five times the amount of recycling that’s left out. Our household’s is the other way round… our rubbish bag is very small and we recycle everything that can possibly be recycled.
Anyway, this morning I was stunned at how many black sacks of rubbish there were and we’re not even anywhere near Christmas yet. At Christmas you can barely move for rubbish everywhere, and what you see a huge amount of is packaging from toys, beer and wine bottles, and huge black sacks full to the brim with what’s probably wrapping paper, ribbons and gift tags.
I’M NO BAH-HUMBUG BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION – I LOVE CHRISTMAS AS MUCH AS AN AVERAGE EIGHT YEAR OLD
Okay so don’t get me wrong, I’m no bah-humbug by any stretch of the imagination – I love Christmas as much as an average eight year old – but unnecessary landfill is one of my pet peeves in life. On Christmas Day I go through all the wrapping paper and pick off all the ribbons and tape and save as much as I can to be recycled or reused… it drives my family nuts.
But landfill is evil. And unicorns are partly to blame.
Why glitter is killing our seas
So to explain why unicorns are dangerous (poor unicorns! I’m giving them such a bad rap here): It was after I read a particular article about glitter that I really stopped and thought about how much damage we’re doing to the environment with all the sparkly stuff that Christmas brings and the trend for glitter in beauty products.
Last year I was told not to put sparkly or metallic wrapping paper into the recycling because it can’t be recycled. I’m guilty of buying that. I’m also guilty of buying (and making, which I did before blogging took over my life) Christmas cards with a ton of glitter on them. And this is what I read: glitter is in such abundant use in manufacturing at the moment with our love of unicorns, mermaids and everything sparkly that it’s getting into the water system when we wash it off our hands and faces and throw glittery things away.
STOP BUYING CHRISTMAS CARDS WITH GLITTER ON THEM AND WRAPPING PAPER WITH GLITTER ON THEM AND THAT RIBBON YOU CURL WITH SCISSORS (CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MANY SEABIRDS AND OTHER ANIMALS GET THAT CAUGHT AROUND THEIR NECKS OR SWALLOW IT?)
The glitter isn’t biodegradable – it eventually ends up in our seas and is basically killing sea life. Plastic is horrific enough; we know about giant garbage patches and that there’s one twice the size of Texas off the coast of California, but glitter is practically microscopic. How on earth do we stop it getting into the ecosystem?
There are essentially two things we can do: Stop buying throwaway glitter products (or buy biodegradable glitter – it’s ethical, it’s eco-friendly, it’s cruelty-free) and non-biodegradable (beauty) products full stop. And stop buying Christmas cards with glitter on them and wrapping paper with glitter on them and that ribbon you curl with scissors (can you IMAGINE how many seabirds and other animals get that caught around their necks or swallow it?).
Let’s stop buying it all. Let’s go for eco-friendly wrapping options. Let’s buy cards that are 100% recyclable – no fancy stick on bits. Let’s stop buying plastic bows. But let’s still buy unicorn shizzle, but avoid the glittery unicorn shizzle.
Let’s stop leaving out more black sacks than recycling on the first bin day after Christmas and keep the seas happy… who’s with me?
ARE YOU AS INCENSED BY LANDFILL AS I AM? AND HAS THIS MADE YOU STOP AND THINK ABOUT THE ECO-UNFRIENDLY CHOICES WE MAKE AT CHRISTMAS AT ALL? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW…
So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!
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