Day 118 / 365
There are many things we do in the western world, often times in celebration of our consciousness and personal enlightenment, which are in fact, a representation of the opposite.
Whether it’s covering our bodies in clothing made by exploited workers and having the ignorant audacity to utter ‘namaste’ while wearing them - to covering our bodies in glitter which will never biodegrade so we might be able to draw attention to ourselves amongst large gatherings of our peers, we're a bit ass backwards about most things.
Judgemental as it may seem, I direct this critique to myself as much as any other member of society. Our culture is built on some incredible hypocrisies and we’ve been trained, through lack of education and a certain type of propaganda (consumer fabrication), to focus our energy away from World community and compassionate curiosity - and towards reckless consumerism and self-centred solidarity.
Markets are meant to be based on informed consumers making rational choices, but that’s not the system we have.
Recently, my sister-in-law sent me a link to a biodegradable glitter company that has recently, and thankfully, popped up, the first of its kind. A business which informs consumers about the harms of glitter, educating their customers and inviting them to make informed decisions about their purchases. Most businesses don’t provide you with such information, mostly because you wouldn’t buy their product if you knew where it came from, how it was made, or where it would end up.
It's not just one sector of the community which zombie through consumption, it's all of us, even those claiming to be most connected to the earth.
For example, Burning Man Festival is, to the best of my knowledge, the most glitter filled festival in North America and possibly the world. Any Burner past, present, or future has a penchants for all things that sparkle, often times incorporating glitter bomb makeup into their daily routine outside festival life.
Each year, thousands of middle and upper-class members of western society, spend thousands of dollars to gather in a portion of the Nevada desert for artistic festivities centred around personal discovery. A subculture if you will of like-minded members of a certain culture, experimenting with ideas of community, spirituality and togetherness within the confines of exclusivity created by accidental conventional societal structures: A minority of opulent expressionists, protected from the majority to poor too partake.
It is a community self-proclaimed for their consciousness, committed to leaving no trace. Yet Burners, me, and the rest of the western world, continue to gluttonously used many a product which represent the opposite frame of mind, including gallons of glitter, which is about as harmful as microbeads to our earth and her environment.
This is not, by any means, a scathing review of Burning Man, I have many much loved, conscious, and intelligent friends who I wholeheartedly respect and are self-described ‘burners’. I highlight this community only because of the plethora of glitter used amongst these conscious community members who dwell yearly within the festival’s perimeters and the connection these thoughts have provoked in me.
I mean to show that none of us are exempt from becoming fabricated consumers, even those who makes efforts to inform themselves on all matters of life in this world and beyond have missed not one, but many major marks. An accusation true for all members of conventional society.
THE PROBLEM WITH GLITTER
To understand the reasons why I’ve used something as frivolous as glitter to ignite this conversation, you need to understand the severity of glitter and our society’s lack of education on its harms:
[PART 1: Dirty Fairy]
Glitter is made of small bits of plastic and aluminium. Plastic is a petroleum derivative and aluminium is obtained through open mining. Both processes have huge impacts on the environment and surround communities. Corrupting the soil and polluting the surrounding environment.
[PART 2: Washing Yourself Clean of Responsibility]
Whether you wash your glitter off, or it is blown off in the wind, it will never decompose. It eventually enters into our waterways, rivers and oceans.
[PART 3: Poisoning Wildlife]
Once there, they are absorbed by the wildlife who live there (and if it doesn’t kill them first, which it often does) these micro plastics are passed along the food chain until…
[PART 4: Cancer, Yum Yum]
We (top of the food chain) eat said wildlife, and thus, absorb some of these glitter bombs made of plastic chemicals, which we ourselves polluted the waters with. They say, people who eat shellfish consume more than 11,000 pieces of microplastics, like glitter, every year.
Cosmetic BioGlitz creates a glitter produced from a special biodegradable film that is certified compostable. The biodegradable element of the glitter is derived from sustainable sources, does not contain materials that are genetically modified nor materials obtained from genetically modified organisms. Cosmetic BioGlitz offers the same precision cut and highly reflective properties as conventional PET based glitter. The biodegradable film used in BioGlitz biodegrades in sea water in accordance with the standard ASTM D7081-05. It is not tested on animal. (from Bio Glitz’ site).
It is our individual responsibility to use our purchasing power for the greater good. To give up products and brands which aren’t made in an ecological and ethical way. To act as true humanitarians and as stewards of this planet, which is our only home. Our enlightenment, spirituality, fun, celebrations and personal decoration is less important than our survival as a species. And our survival as a species is in serious limbo now.
Any change that has made this world a more beautiful place does not come from hoards of people hiding with their own in the desert, behind board room tables, or within conventional communities. It comes with united efforts as individuals in the name of positive progress, joining hands, whether virtually or physically, educating each other, and demanding change.