Monday, November 2, 2009

Razzle Dazzle, Or How I Prevented 150g of Landfill

Earlier this year we enjoyed our daughter's 6th birthday party.  She received 5 Bratz dolls, 2 Barbies, some paints and a CD of Alice in Wonderland (with a book) (not abridged or toned down, thank goodness)  By the time we removed disposable matter, the total weight of toys (all plastic) was about 40% of the total weight of the gifts.  60% landfill.  I find this so shocking.  I don't even look at toys when I shop, and the kids only really browse in op shops, so I am out of touch, I guess.  I did mention that she is interested in Bratz, so I can't object to the choices her gifters have made (in fact, they were a lot more generous than I expected) but the overpackaging has left me gobsmacked.   I will re-use the flat clear plastic for sewing templates, and the printed card has some cute stuff for craft, so I was careful with it, but even so - Aaargh!!!!!!!

However, my favourite, in a open-mouthed, words fail me sense, was the Bratz Flower Girlz.  JUST the empty plastic box, with all cardboard decorative packing removed, weighed 150g.  The doll weighs 126g.  Her accessories are: a hairbrush, a cloth patch, a little plastic flower pot and saucer, matching watering can and a packet of seeds (10 myosotis seeds) because she is.......... environmental.   Yes, you can "Join the Bratz™ as they help the environment with style!"  I know that she is doing her bit, because the packaging has extra tags dangling that say "STOP Global Warming Plant a tree" and it says in big letters on the back "SAVE the PLANET! Planting flowers makes the environment healthier and more beautiful!"  Gosh, non-natives, presumably irradiated or something for quarantine, (or maybe not, it's Made in China)  grown in a 5cm tall plastic pot, are going to offset 250g of straight-to-landfill petroleum byproducts made by people who lack basic workers rights and brought here on a container ship, one of the worst polluters around.

I'm not a purist, and I doubt anyone will ever accuse me of "greenorexia" but I do my best and try to avoid the worst of it.  I mostly just object to this kind of lying, because it screws things up.  How can children learn the truth if they are told rubbish like this?  Snaps to Bratz for linking "environmental" and "cool", Boo hiss for absolutely everything else.  (Oh, and she smells like the formula for a herbaceous border interpreted by a pharmacist with malfunctioning olfactory apparatus, and there are holes in the front of the box so you can "smell the flowers!") 

And the little bits of plastic left after making the sewing templates?  I used my hole punch to make clear plastic sequins.  I make the centre hole with the needle as I sew them on.  They look so pretty and give a subtle sparkle to the fabric.  I tried for ages to photograph them, but the problem with subtle is that it's.... subtle.

If I manage to capture the sparkle in daylight, I'll edit this and add pictures.

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