Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Problem Gifts

Green Holiday Action #30

A few things make me cringe when I open a package: foam packing peanuts and metallic plastic sheeting.

This year no foam peanuts exploded from a well-packed gift box. That was a blessing. No storing them, no trying to figure out how to use them without setting them free in the environment.

But this glittery problem was given to us by well-meaning friends. This is the metallic plastic sheeting or polyester film that I warned against in "Just Say 'No' to The Shiny." And in this case, it is already shredded into small bits.

If I "throw it away," it won't be gone. It will fly up into the air or cling to the side of the trash bin. It will find a way to escape from the trash truck. Next it will tumble down the street, wash down a gutter, make its way to the ocean and into the gullet of a bird or fish. It is bad news.

If I keep the shiny menace, how can I reuse it? If I pass it on to someone else, they will have the same problem I'm having. It's like passing on a virus.

If you have a good idea on what action can be taken to deal with this flashy shredded polyester film, let me know. The only thing I've come up with is using it in a few experiments to show how hazardous it really is.

Don't make this mistake. Don't curse your friends and family with a needless environmental burden.

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