Happy New Year!
What a timely moment to address glitter! Glitter is made of plastic and aluminum bonded together with polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and can cause serious health damage. Glitter specks make their way into everything – even water treatment plants! And they attach to dangerous chemicals, carrying them into our waterways. Microplastics like broken down specks of glitter are in our “clean” drinking water and even in our food. Let’s skip using glitter and resort to singing an extra verse of Auld Lang Syne instead!
Here’s another seasonal consideration. Do you have a wood-burning fireplace? If so, do you know where the wood you are burning came from? If you answer “the backyard,” you get a gold star (not made of glitter)! If you answer “the garden supply store,” please do your homework: firewood that is transported from outside of the immediate area presents two *bad* issues. First, as most of us know from concern about the ash borer locally, firewood can carry with it many insects and diseases from one part of the country to another – transported firewood is how the ash borer got to Ohio, for example. Second, and more obvious, is the “buy local” issue: the carbon footprint of your firewood is far higher if it has been transported on an 18-wheeler over a thousand miles than if it has been transported in a wheelbarrow from your neighbor’s fallen tree.
Here’s one final thought for this time of year, when we bring our year (and our finances) to a close, and this is a habit to make, not to break. Consider making a donation that will improve our environment. A gift to a research project at Holden, to Refugee Response at the Ohio City Farm, to the North Union Farmer’s Market, to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s reforestation efforts, or an additional gift to our own Charitable Projects fund – these are wonderful ways to celebrate embarking on a New Year!