As you all have figured out by now, I love glitter. I use it in everything I do. From glittery make-up, to glittery arts and crafts, my husband Corey is losing his mind. He isn’t as big a fan as I am (AKA: party pooper). If I could, I’d have glitter in my walls! They even make glitter grout for in-between tile!
But, what if my beloved glitter was actually doing more harm to our world than good?
Well, sadly, it is. Glitter is not biodegradable. What we see as these pretty, sparkly additions to our crafts and everyday life are really just teeny tiny bits of glorified plastic. Microplastic, to be exact. Glitter is often made up of things like copolymer plastic or aluminum foil, neither of which are biodegradable and cannot be ingested.
How is adding a little extra sparkle hurting our environment?
By using glitter in the quantities that we do (or at least that I do), we are contributing to the massive amounts of glitter that end up in our landfills, which washes away and works its way into our groundwater, rivers, and oceans. The fish that live in this sparkly poison are ingesting an absurd amount of this microplastic every day, ultimately killing them off, many before they even hit the reproductive stage of their lives. No reproducing fish means no baby fish, which means no prey for many sea predators, and up the food chain it goes.
So how do we fix this?
Well, my friends, you don’t think the glitter queen would let you go about your lives without an environmentally-conscious alternative to adding a little sparkle, do you? In fact, I have just the thing to add some shimmer to your day. Want to know a secret?
You Can Make Sugar Glitter!
To get started, you only need a few items:
- White Granulated Sugar
- Food Coloring
- Aluminum Foil
- Small Plastic Bags
- Cookie Sheet
First, pour as much sugar as you want into the plastic bag. This will be how much sugar glitter you’ll end up with, so unless you have a BIG art project coming up, I would recommend only starting with ½ cup.
Next, add the food coloring of your choice to the bag and seal it. Shake and knead the food coloring into the sugar until it is fully covered.
After the sugar is fully covered in the color you desire, create a trough with your aluminum foil and place it on the cookie sheet. Your trough should hold your sugar in on all sides so it doesn’t fall out and make a mess. Pour your sugar in a pile down the middle of the trough, so that the sugar extends from end-to-end.
Once your sugar glitter is safely in its newfound home, place the cookie sheet in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees Celsius) for about four minutes. At four minutes, check your sugar. If looks and smells the same, leave it for another one to two minutes. Check it again. Repeat this process as needed until your sugar looks like it is just starting to melt on the sides and has a glitzy sheen to it. At this point, take it out to finish drying and cooling.
Once your sugar glitter is cool, place it in a sifter. You will have some globs of sugar that have clung together during the drying process that will need to be broken up.
Voila! You now have an earth-friendly way to light up your life, and as a bonus, it’s a lot cheaper, too! Plus, if you get a sweet tooth in the glitter-making process, you’ve got a quick fix.
Let us know if you try out our sugar glitter! Leave us a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day, everyone! Stay strong and glitter on!
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Meghan recently graduated Central Washington University with her B.A. in Education, specializing in Early Childhood Education and Development and is a certified K-12 teacher. She is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and is interested in expanding her knowledge of other international sign languages.