Unfortunately, traditional glitter is bad for the environment because it is made up of tiny pieces of plastic, BUT what do you do with your old glitter?
Should you throw it out? use it? donate it? or hide it in a cupboard for eternity?
There are a couple of ways to dispose of glitter, but the best way is to repurpose it into permanent projects and DIYs - giving it zero chance to spread and become glitter pollution.
The first thing you can do about glitter is to STOP buying it - but I'm sure if you ended up on this page then you have done just that and are wondering what to do with the stash of glitter still in your possession.
When people stop buying plastic glitter, companies will stop making it. While we all wait around for this to finally happen, there are other actions we can take to minimise the impact.
The key thing is we want to avoid glitter heading into waterways and ideally out of landfill.
Disposing of Glitter in Landfill
If you absolutely had to dispose of glitter, placing it into a sealable jar or container and throwing it in landfill is possibly the best option for complete disposal.
This will help prevent the glitter contaminating the environment or leeching into waterways, but will still contribute to landfill (including the recyclable container it was placed in). Keep in mind, the container may be crushed or broken during it's transition to landfill and at some point the container will deteriorate exposing the glitter.
This is my least favourite option and honestly, you are better keeping it locked away in a cupboard for ever - a little like Pandora's Box, but we know how that story went!
If you just can't stand to have anything with glitter, be sure to donate it somewhere it will be used mindfully.
Avoid sending it on to schools and craft clubs and instead search for local artists and eco-friendly organisations that can deal with the glitter properly.
Glitter Disposal Through Re-Use
Glitter can be 'disposed of', in manner of speaking, by using it in permanent forever items.
Not only does this prevent misuse by other people, but keeps it out of landfill and out of your cupboard.
Avoid typical glitter crafts like kids art, gift cards, glitter slime or anything where the glitter is unlikely to stay put.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that many glitter projects are not exactly zero waste and may require additional materials that aren't fabulous for the planet. It's very difficult to work out the best and worst options, so use your own judgement AND use what you already have when you can.
If you're considering using it for glitter slime....Just NO - you will combining two evil items that will wreck your home and the planet.
Here are some fun ways you might want to reuse and repurpose glitter:
> Use Glitter for Upcycling
Glitter can be applied to so many objects you already have AND there are techniques (like this one) to prevent glitter shedding.
It can be applied to candleholders, photo frames and many other decorative objects. Make sure it's something you plan to have around a while.
(Image from iLoveToCreateBlog.)
Working glitter into clay is another permanent way to dispose of these tiny bits of plastic glitter. I used polymer clay that we had in our craft cupboard and combined matching glitter to several items. Follow the instructions on the packet for baking times, most are done in 30 minutes.
I used a cookie cutter to make the ones below and a metal skewer to create holes before baking.
Did you know, even your old glittery makeup can be combined with clay too!
Polymer clay is fine to use outdoors too, and we will be using these on a mosaic project we are about to start working on in the garden.
Clay can be moulded into figurines, pendants, hanging ornaments and of course bowls. I found this great tutorial on how to make a glittery ring dish which I'm dying to try.
>Create Glitter Wall Art
This gorgeous project below is a DIY glitter and lights canvas from JOANN. It's an effective way to repurpose, and looks amazing.
There are plenty of ways to get creative and if your looking for a little more inspiration see these easy glitter wall art ideas.
> Glitter Mason Jars
I love these arty looking mason jars and think they are perfect for holding kids craft items. Of course, they could be upcycled pasta sauce jars or whatever other glass you have been collecting. Here are all the instructions for DIY Glitter Jars.
Image From Color Made Happy
>Glitter Resin Projects
Resin is an ideal way to capture glitter forever. Just take a look around Pinterest or google it, and you will find amazing tutorials on using resin with glitter.
Here's a cute example of how to make a glitter cactus at home using a silicone mould. It looks easy enough, although I haven't tried it myself yet.
Image From Resin Crafts
I hope this helps you get the plastic glitter out of your cupboard.
Once you have repurposed, used or mindfully disposed of your glitter, don't forget to opt for an eco-friendly version for future crafts.
Here's How To Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Glitter At Home from Epsom Salts.
I haven't purchased or used any eco-friendly glitter yet (other than my own) so I have no idea what they are like to use. Have you tried it? I'd love to know what you've tested out and how it performed (and was it kid approved?)
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